The reason for this post is Biden's recent speech. It seems that the Democratic Party's main priority right now is quashing any kind of reconciliation with the more progressive wing as represented by Sanders. That being said, there are some memes out there falsely insinuating that Biden explicitly referred to Sanders. More egregious are the accusations of pedophilia flung around wantonly. This kind of thing is not consistent wtih Sanders' ethics. It is an example of how conservatives are not only incapable of confronting a problem which is more associated with them than those whom they target for accusation but revealing in the sense that to deliberately make such accusations as a form of political rhetoric is to demonstrate a typical lack of respect for the gravity of the accusation itself in relation to the actual phenomenon. But that kind of projection is typical for the right wing which consistently employs projection of the worst evils of humanity- torture, infanticide, mass-slaughter, etc.- along with their lies, distortions, and privileged immunity gained from the unprincipled use of power and violence.What politicians like Biden hope to do is paint the recent victories by Democrats as a validation of the Democratic Party. Thus I feel obligated to explain why I feel that I cannot be convinced that a candidate like Biden can swing my vote from Sanders to him. I might as well throw in a few more general observations by way of examining the idea of a Zuckerberg candidacy which I would embrace more readily than a Biden one for ironic reasons.Nothing can change the fact that Sanders has a record and a history, an established character, which stands in contrast to candidates like Biden. I won't go into a long explanation of that, I have already done so elsewhere though this argument will need to be threshed out over and over again as time goes on apparently. Suffice it to say here that on the range of issues from trade, to regulation of Wall St., to promotion of small and medium sized business including worker co-ops, to foreign policy, and so forth Sanders has consistently maintained a principled and qualitatively progressive position and philosophy. Its important to stress here that we are not just talking about his being "more progressive than the others." The crux of the matter is that his positions are grounded on a truthful understanding of the issues that matter.I don't need any convincing to tell me that Biden is a better candidate than any Republican, including Trump. If those two go head to head it will be over the issue of economic developement. The outcome of the renegotiation of the TPP and NAFTA, assuming the former will eventually include the U.S. and the latter will continue to do so, will at first frame this debate. As that issue unfolds it will be necessary to distinguish the priority of economic stimulation and development from the particularities of trade policy.No trade policy in and of itself will determine how we as a country can move forward to embrace a vision of economic and community development. We need a vision that spans the components of society or we'll be stuck in this situation of people constantly servicing their debt and not being able to go out to eat enough or take camping trips. I, for example, won't be able to go to the bank and get a loan for my idea of installing water cisterns on people's roofs so they can have fish-bearing streams and irrigation in their yards. Or my friend who want to have her own clothing line including "THOTH" running shoes ("Stay one step ahead of Good and Evil!").Might as well throw in a few jokes, right?But back to Biden vs. Sanders. One thing that sticks in my mind about Biden is his policies regarding police. He was part of the wave of hysteria over crime in the '90's. Notice how Trump got into office and for a second there was some attention to the murder rates in cities like Chicago. Just goes to show how Democrats might be able to learn but Republicans will always fall back on the same fear-based politics that make the problems worse rather than fix them. They are not so concerned with fixing problems rather as they are using fear to keep people in line. Sanders sees the need for state institutions such as the police but emphasizes the range of policies and programs needed to tackle problems like drug use, homelessness, poverty, education, domestic violence, crime, and economic and community development.Interestingly, you might know that Biden himself has sometimes been described as populist or somewhat populist. This is one of the reasons I think it is important to understand the populism of the moment. There is too little discussion of why both of the major parties are in turmoil. HRC lost democratic votes in states hit hard by the global market while the white working class still refuses to embrace the Democratic Party.There is certainy something to be said for the idea that people want work and not welfare. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has not been succesful in convincing people that they can deliver on this front while the Republican Party still relies on the appeal of deregulation and tax cuts. To be fair to Biden, the Nation article does mention that he see "access to capital" as part of the solution to address economic malaise.But let's approach all that from the perspective of how the Democrats can deal with this intransigence shown by those who currently control that party. That brings me to the idea of Zuckerberg running as a Democrat. I'm assuming he would run as a Democrat although I guess that's not a given. One reason for this assumption though is that there is strong association between urban-level philanthropy and the Democratic Party. This kind of thing is what I would call a manifestation of "post-classical political theory."
This type of theory is one in which politics is better understood in relation to the other aspects of life including various forms of individual social engagement (volunteering, donating to causes, starting a non-profit or campaign, consmer ethics, working for a start-up or employee owned co-op, etc.). All of the problems which are posed as political problems when the subject is politics are more likely in today's world of consumers with a more sophisticated education as fundamentally problems which are defined in-and-of-themselves or as primarily social or cultural first. That is, they are manifestations of the social and economic dimension which are associated with social and economic processes and thus understood first as such rather than as problems which are dealt with by the state consistent with an idea such as "biopower."Hysteria eventually wears off and the populace becomes less susceptible to it. When we see for example the progressive faction of the Democrats willing to take it to the brink over the issue of DACA we see that there are at least some Democrats willing to take a stand like Sanders'. The long-term discourse must resolve whether either the Democrats or Republicans will capture the popular imagination or whether either or both will face a split which produces a third or fourth party or whether a third party emerges as a popular party. The most promising possibility for true progressives is a local-level alternative to the Democratic Party. These alternatives, varying from place to place to include Greens, Socialists (e.g. Sawant), etc., need not necessarilly aim to replace the Democratic Party outright. Urban areas can handle challenges from the left especially where the most progressive districts are located, shifting the national discourse left from the grassroots level and offering moral support to left/progressive politicians at the state and federal level. The question over whether any of these alternative parties might replace the Democratic Party centers over how successful such local movements are and how the Democratic Party responds.So far the Democratic Party leadership has showed that it would rather loose than come to terms with the base. "Populism" and "liberalism" must somehow be reconciled with each other. We now live in an era of large-scale agriculture and industrialization. Decentralizaing the market to encourage small-scale farming, profitable small businesses in manufacture and retail, and other developments which enhance the material well-being and way of life of the average person must be adapted to this framework. The urban working class needs to benefit just as much from these ideas as the immigrants to cities like Detroit which are spearheading these innovations. But the average voter also must come to terms with the fact that Detroit is the best example of how the social justice dimension cannot be ignored in any truly democratic movement.Also, Zuckerberg has a cool dog. Trump doesn't have a dog. Probably the kids and Melania wanted one but he said no. Something wrong there.
"Exit polls indicated that healthcare was far and away the most important issue for Virginia voters, and the decisive Democratic victory signifies a massive rebuke of the GOP's efforts to throw tens of millions of Americans off their health insurance."
"'If the left tidal wave continues into 2018, which it probably will, it will be an extreme lost opportunity if there are no big transformative ballot initiatives on health care, taxes, labor, climate, criminal justice reform, and campaign finance,' Fang wrote. 'Progressives should aim big.'"


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Come Cruise with Thom Hartmann in July 2020

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Has Capitalism and The GOP Destroyed Religion?

Thom plus logo The number of Americans who called them selves Christian or religious has declined precipitously over the last decade, and the number of Americans who are "unaffiliated Christians", atheists, or unconcerned about religion or spirituality has increased.