Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Candidate Purity Tests

I found this on Alternet, in the comments on a post about Kamala Harris.  It was written by a user calling himself "Griffon".   I thought it worth sharing for those who insist on maintaining the status quo in their chosen candidates without regard for the records of those same candidates."


Why is it considered a "purity test" for an honest representative who'll demand an end to f#@king Torture?

Why is it considered a "purity test" for an honest representative who'll demand an end to support for unilaterally obliterating foreign civilians?

Why is it considered a "purity test" for an honest representative who'll demand my goddamned taxes get tracked, accounted for, and used for infrastructure, education, clean water, free college and Universal Healthcare which covers everyone.

Goddamn it.

I'm so f#@king sick of democrat sackless tribal ass-hats actually defending callous republican policies (under the guise of the failure-crat platform, of course), like the ACA; a rapacious, forced-tax that sees 20-50% increases yearly, which a large swath of the Public can't even afford and which provides sub-par "coverage," and only after an exorbitant, knee-buckling deductible, not to mention skyrocketing prescription pricing and increasing medical bankruptcies.

All of which excludes hundreds of thousands, nay millions of our fellow citizens. It never had to be this way. We have plenty of money. We can afford to care for our citizens. We can afford to educate and clothe, encourage and heal our countrymen....except where the two privatized, parasitic corporate parties, DNC and RNC, are involved.

The democrats and republicans are paid to deny us healthcare. The democrats and republicans are paid to deny us access to education that doesn't bury future generations in indentured slavery and crippling debt.

The democrats and republicans are paid to deny us clean water, clean air, decent internet, even the least accountability. The democrats and republicans are paid to deny us a standard of living that other countries have long achieved; like Norway, Sweden, Canada.....

It doesn't have to be this way. Why does anyone keep defending this insanity? It doesn't take anything more than people simply deciding it can't be like this any more. Period.
The private corporate DNC and RNC are not unlike those predators in Hollywood and USAG who have exploited and abused a vulnerable Public for $$$ and power. They have used their positions to get away with murder and worse...until those abused in Hollywood and athletics decided this will not continue. Period.

They joined together; they were stronger than one or two alone and stood up to the hierarchy that sought to keep them silent and afraid. The Public must now do the same thing; stand up to the monstrous abuse of the DNC and RNC and destroy those organizations that have worked tirelessly to keep the Public in debt. bondage, illegal wars, paying for a Torture state, militarizing our domestic police force, and drinking leaded (and worse) water.

We are here now directly because the democrats (and republicans) don't work. They have long thrown us under the bus, then indulged in the worst, worst rationale for their abject failures; victim blaming. See, it's our fault that we didn't want a cheating, lying Wall St. spaniel for a leader. It's our fault that we're sick of expanding wars, Torture, failing infrastructure, bloated Pentagon, Tax cuts for the filthy rich, Corporate Welfare, billions in tax havens, corporate slavery/overseas sweatshops. It's our fault that we're sick of being the World leader in arms sales, bombing innocent civilians, making dedicated enemies by the hundreds for obliterating whole families, villages, cities.
It's all our fault, you see?

Somehow, I don't recall voting for a single one of these atrocities, obscenities, extraConstitutional abominations, Frauds, Violations of Due process, Indefinite Detentions, Pipelines, Oil Spills, Fracking, Uranium deals, Environmental catastrophes, Superfund abandonments.....

But somehow, it's all our fault. The Public finds this obvious, obvious DNC/RNC corporate, mercenary agenda repugnant, destructive, unconscionable, inhuman, monstrous, barbaric.....but it' our fault for rejecting it. It's our fault for finding such as both Trump and clinton repulsive and indefensible.

It's our fault for wanting human rights, basic sanitation, drinkable water, Due Process, clean energy, justice for all, egalitarian legislation.....Peace.

Our fault.

Here's an idea; Let's make it our fault for putting the DNC and RNC out of business and out of our government. Let's make it our fault that the Pentagon reins-in its extravagant and dishonorable behavior. Let's make it our fault that we force Universal healthcare policy. Let's make it our fault that domestic police are trained in de-escalation instead of Murder, Inc. Let's make it our fault that education and college don't shackle future generations with dream-killing debt. Let's make it our fault that corporations no longer own our votes, vote counts, voting machines, voting software, voting results, and vote totals.

Let's make it our fault that we staunchly refuse to trade King George for hundreds of thousands of petty, smaller dictators in CEOs, Goldman Sachs, Monsanto, Time-Warner, Comcast, Verizon.....they are nothing more than imperialist dictators destroying democracy.

Corporations are the most dangerous insurgency, and the graveyard of democratic fundamentals. Corporations are where democracy goes to die.

Let's make it our fault that corporate rule and right-wing policy gets buried instead. You just need to decide. And stick. And stick. And stick.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Well, the Senate wasted no time in getting their bullshit bill passed.  Now it goes back to the House for a final vote on the reconciliation, then to Trump for his signature.  If Trump signs it, which he is likely to do, there's only one thing left to do. 

We MUST stop arguing personality politics, put up a slate of real progressives, vote them into office next year.  It has to be real progressives, because corporate Democrats won't do it.  They're too beholden to Wall Street and big money interests to do what's right for the country and We the People.

Proofs of that are too numerous to go into, but I'll give a few examples:

Corporate Democratic leaders have come out against re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada at lower prices.
They've come out against universal health care, knowing that the ACA is both insufficient to the needs of the people, and that it's a giveaway to the insurance industry, having been largely written by that industry's lobbyists.

They've come out against breaking up the "too big to fail" big banks and "too big to jail" bankers and stockbrokers who caused the Great Recession of 2008.

Corporate Democrats have refused to stand with the fight for 15 to increase the minimum wage to a living wage.

President Obama, as a candidate, promised to protect whistle blowers.  But while in office, he prosecuted more of them than ANY OTHER President before him. 

After Candidate Obama promised to bring our soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan, but after doing so to a great extent, he sent them back to fight again in those places and seven more countries.  And some of those soldiers are PROTECTING the Afghan poppy fields while heroin usage here in America is on the increase once again.

Twice, he tried to open the Arctic preserves to drilling for oil, after promising not to do so.  He did nothing to fix our crumbling infrastructure, and made a single half-hearted attempt to bring jobs back from overseas.

And Tom Perez, after beginning a unity reform tour with Bernie Sanders, proceded to purge the Democratic National Committee leadership of real progressives.

So what are corporate Democrats going to do for We the People?  Not a damn thing, based on their records.

Why does this happen?  Why do they betray us, their constituents? 

There's a saying: Follow the money.  Every one of them has recieved big donations from corporate America. 

Cory booker got a big one from Big Pharma before he voted against importing Canadian drugs, the same drugs from the same pharma companies that make them and that cost a lot more than they do in Canada.  Every one of those corporate Democrats gets donations from the corporations that benefit from their betrayal of the people of this nation.  Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Oil, and so on. 
Don't believe me; but don't believe them either. Break out of your confirmation bias.  Look it up for yourself, and learn the truth. 

What it comes down to is this: If you keep trying to silence progressives, you're digging the grave of your party, and of this country as a semi-functioning Democratic Republic.

It's time... No, it's well past time, to purge the Democratic Party, all of our political institutions, of corporatists who are robbing the nation blind and destroying our country.  It's OUR country, dammit, NOT the corporations!

Don Rice Jr.
© December 21, 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

Wake up, Democrats!

Here's something for everyone to consider.  In the 2017 election cycle, almost all of which were local and state-level races, where candidates running on the Democratic Party ticket won even over high-power long-time Republican office holders, the ones who won were mostly newcomers. Even more interesting and informative in light of the divisiveness of establishment politics is that those who won by the largest margins are progressives who were backed by progressive organizations. 

Justice Democrats, Democratic Socialists of America, Our Revolution, to name a few.

Some of those candidates had very little support, if any at all, from the Democratic Party; in at least one case, the Democratic Socialist who ran on Virginia, was told that he couldn't possibly win.  Who told him that?  The Democratic Party of Virginia, which also declined to support him in any way, in spite of the fact that he ran on the Democratic Party line.  But he won anyway, by a wide margin, unseating a long-term Republican up for re-election in a Republican stronghold.

How did these men and women win in spite of the lack of support from establishment Democrats and their admittedly powerful organizations?  They went out and tslked to people about the issues the people are most concerned with.  Unemployment and underemployment.  Education.  Health care.  Local issues like road repair and potholes.  Police brutality.

Corporate (centrist and center-right), establishment Democrats smeared Bernie Sanders, and are still trying to smear him and his supporters.  They smeared and continue to smear anyone who aligns with Sanders, in spite of the fact that he has been the most popular active politician in the country for many months.  And the way they smeared Bernie was by using right-wing Republican talking points. What does that say about corporate Democrats?

At the same time, there are a lot of Republicans in the rank and file who also supported Sanders, and would have voted for him given the chance.  But the Democratic establishment (corporate) machine, through the machinations of Debbie Wassermann-Shultz and the campaign of Hillary Clinton, made sure that wasn't possible. 

So most of those Republicans pulled the lever for Donald Trump, while the Democratic Party began bleeding membership to the Independent column.  While some relative few Independents voted for Trump, large majorities, those who didn't hold their noses while voting for Clinton, instead voted for either Jill Stein or Gary Johnson.  Afterward, while most rank and file Democrats clamored for progressive policies and change, the then new chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, purged progressives from leadership positions. 
The writing is on the wall for those who are willing and able to read it.  Like it or not, the country is moving to the left.  The People want progress, not "more of the same" status quo that's really moving us further and further to the right with each new election.  The new voices, the progressive voices, are being herd more widely than ever before. 

It's time for the Democratic Party to wake up and smell the coffee.  It's time for them, who call themselves the Party of the People, to start actually working *for* the People instead of for the corporations that have taken over through their large donations, buying the support of the polititians who are supposed to be representing We the People.

The train is leaving the station, Democrats.  It's time to get on board or get left behind.  Or, in the rather crude terminology of my now-deceased elders, shit or get off the pot.

Don Rice Jr.
© December 2017

Friday, November 3, 2017

Cognitive Dissonance


 They’ve been screaming ‘Russians!’ ever since email leaks showed that the fix was already in. The DNC’s defense in court was that they didn’t owe anyone a fair primary process. They didn’t even try to deny it.

Those I’ve run into, online and off, who deny that the primaries were rigged, don’t even bother trying to refute the facts because they know they have nothing to support their position. Instead, they attack your credibility.  They try to gaslight you into thinking you're imagining things, that what happened didn't really happen. They’ll outright lie about it, and insult your intelligence.

In a similar vein, I came across George Orwell's essay on the Spanish Civil War, within which was this:

"And stranger yet, at any moment the situation can suddenly reverse itself and yesterday’s proved-to-the-hilt atrocity story can become a ridiculous lie, merely because the political landscape has changed."

It appears that the same thing is happening with regard to last years' Democratic primaries. There's not even an attempt to present actual evidence because they know there isn't any.  Instead, they pesent an appeal to authority, which they know is a false narrative, by insisting that this one time the intelligence community is telling the truth, in spite of their record of lying and obfuscating, even duriing Congressional testimony. Those good folks at the CIA wouldn't lie, would they? 

I even had one online "friend" who just yesterday admitted he doesn't trust the intel community to be truthful.  Yet in a remarkable display of cognitive dissonance, he also insisted that he wouldn't trust a former CIA whistle blower who spent time in prison for exposing the hidden torture programs that agency committed, telling us not to trust the intel community's veracity.

But they show no hard evidence to back up their claims, and still people believe them, because they can't stand the idea that their faux-progressive hero is corrupt.

One by one the elements of the false narrative are being knocked down.  There was no Russian involvement in the Wisconsin hacking of voter databases.  Forensic analysis of the emails released by Wiileaks show that it was an inside job, not hack from overseas somewhere.  And now the former imterim chair of the DNC admits the primaries were rigged even before Hillary announced her candidacy.

But excuses and denials are made for the corporate elitists who actually run the Democratic Party,  while those who support the establishment status quo continue with their ad hominem attacks, their gaslighting and their outrageous lies.

And that's a crying shame.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Obama's Real Legacy

A few months ago, a pastor wrote an op-ed critical of people who claimed embarrassment over having had Barack Obama as President for 8 years.  He reminded his readers that Obama was the most genteel President of, oh, let's say the past 50 years or so at least.  The way he presented himself in public, clearly loved his family, and refused to lower himself to the level of his detractors is, in my view, the stuff of legend in this day and age.  You can read it here if you wish:

Pastor: When White Folks Say Obama Was an “Embarrassment”, Here’s Your Response

The pastor nails the coffin shut on the idea that people were embarrassed by this man when he changes tone and states unequivocally that they were not embarrassed at all, that they felt threatened by his skin coloration.  He did this by comparing their supposed embarrassment to their total acceptance of the racist, misogynistic, thoroughly narcissistic and politically incompetent Donald Trump.  In my view that's true, as demonstrated by the vitriol that was and still is hurled Obama's way, much of it of a blatantly racist nature.  Those who refer to him, his wife, and/or his children as monkeys, gorillas, watermelon eaters (I never understood that one even when my deceased uncle would say it), and so on, are demonstrating their own racism, no matter how much they deny it.

As for me, I was disappointed in Trump's election at least as much as I was in Obama's emergent corporatism. 

I voted for Obama in 2008, based on his demeanor and his message of hope and change.  I was delighted when, in his first month in office, he smiled broadly as he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.  I was ecstatic when he bailed out the auto industry with a requirement that all money lent to a company had to be paid back before execs could be given their exorbitant bonuses. And I cheered with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which was touted as making health care, as the title says, affordable. 

When I became disabled, I discovered that those who spoke against the ACA were largely correct.  It made basic health care affordable for many people, and it helped those who were previously priced out of the insurance marketplace get insurance.  But the cost was a continuation, even an exacerbation, of the high deductibles and co-pays associated with the insurance industry for many years. This rendered people still unable to afford care they needed, contrary to the propaganda supporting the Act.

One might ask why this would be so.  The answer is simple.  The Act was written largely by the insurance and hospital industries to benefit themselves, not We the People.  And President Obama signed off on it, again with a smile on his face. 

Obama spent far too long seeking compromise with the Republicans in Congress, in spite of their proclamation that they would make sure he only served one term in office.  They failed in that goal, obviously; but they kept right on blocking his actions.

Finally we get to the capper of President Obama's time in office.  The season ender, you might say.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, described by many as NAFTA on steroids.  You might recall that after NAFTA passed, many American jobs were shipped overseas, to places where pay and environmental policies took a clear and distinct back seat to the needs of the people.  And Obama defended that treaty as an improvement of trade policy. 

Then there's the icing on the cake, so to speak.  Yes, many new jobs were created under Obama's administration.  He did prevent another Great Depression form being birthed out of the Great Recession that G.W. Bush's economic policies led us to.  But the pay levels of those jobs were not even close to in line with the ones that we lost during the downturn and before.  You know the ones.  The manufacturing jobs that are now being done by underpaid and overworked peons in China, India and Mexico.

That is President Obama's real legacy.  Not that he was the first black President, but what he did while in the office.

But that pastor is still right about those deluded folks who claim to be embarrassed by Obama's 8 years in office.  They are bigots, and many of them don't even recognize that as a fact.

© 2017 by Don Rice Jr.