Sunday, June 24, 2018
Poor People’s Campaign rally revives Martin Luther King Jr.’s mission
It’s a culmination of a six-week Christian-led campaign against income inequality and racism.
By Tara Isabella Burton
Earlier this month, several White House representatives cited the Bible verse Romans 13 to justify a vision of Christianity that, for example, demands submission to GOP politics and legitimizes the separation of migrant families at the US-Mexico border.
Saturday, at 10 am, in front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC, two Christian faith leaders will spearhead a thousands-strong interfaith cross-party rebuke to that theology. Led by Rev. William Barber, a civil rights activist and mainline Protestant pastor within the Disciples of Christ denomination, and Rev. Liz Theoharis, a Presbyterian minister and co-director of Union Theological Seminary’s Kairos Center, the Poor People’s Campaign is a revival of the historic Martin Luther King Jr.-led movement of the same name.
King’s original movement consisted of a 1968 rally in which the civil rights leader set up a protest camp of 3,000 people of all racial backgrounds on the National Mall. The camp remained there for six weeks.
”All of us can feel the presence of a kind of social insanity which could lead us to national ruin,” King said at the time, arguing that civil rights could only take place alongside a radical addressing of income inequality across America.
Fifty years later, Barber and Theoharis’s Poor People’s Campaign is indebted to that original vision. Over the past six weeks, reflecting the six weeks of the King protest, Barber, Theoharis, and campaign representatives have participated in a number of protests, rallies, teach-ins, religious services, and planned acts of civil disobedience across the United States. (Both Barber and Theoharis have been arrested during the Campaign for blocking access to the United States Capitol.)
The six weeks of campaigning will culminate in Saturday’s rally. Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was an influential figure in the original 1968 rally, will attend, as will the actor and activist Danny Glover.
According to Barber, who spoke to journalists with Theoharis on a press call on Friday, the rally will heavily feature marginalized and impacted voices, not just “people speaking for the poor, but [rather] impacted people of every color and sexuality … from Alabama to Alaska.”
Afterward, Barber said, the group would march from the National Mall to the Capitol and attempt to deliver letters with demands — including reforms to the prison system, the health care system, voting rights, and more — to Congress. Barber likened the action to Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to a church door, which was considered the spark of the Protestant Reformation.
The campaign, Barber stressed, would not be limited to a single issue, whether racial justice, immigration reform, or income inequality. Rather, he said, the campaign would focus on the intersection of all these issues. “We resist those who say poor people need to ask for one thing. … We want all of what the Constitution promises.
” Both Barber and Theoharis’s statements were characterized by richly theological language and a desire to frame their political aims in an explicitly Christian context. Barber quoted Matthew 18:6, a verse in which Jesus admonishes those who fail to care for children and tells his apostles, “it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” And he dismissed the Trump administration’s nationalistic approach to Christianity as “a heretical form of theological malpractice.”
Barber also rejected the label of the “religious left,” or the “left” more generally, to describe the campaign. “We are talking about the moral center,” he said, citing past examples of bipartisan collaboration, such as the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
Barber and Theoharis expressed hope for the significance of tomorrow’s event. But, Barber reminded journalists, “This is the Poor People’s Campaign, not the Poor People’s March or the Poor People’s Saturday.”
Already, the campaign has seen some lasting results. On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) led a two-hour hearing on Capitol Hill to examine the effects of poverty in America.
In other words, there is a long road to travel. Saturday’s event is just the beginning.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Group demands better wages, jobs and housing
By Rick Jones | Presbyterian News Service
Police in Washington, D.C., took the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins and other faith leaders into custody on Monday afternoon during a demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court building. Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Office of Public Witness, was taking part in the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival.
Standing under a banner that read “Everybody’s Got a Right to Live,” the group joined participants in nonviolent demonstrations in 40 state capitals around the country. The 40-day campaign focuses on a different topic each week. This week’s focus is on living wages, jobs, income and housing.
“We have tremendous economic, political and justice issues in this country which are compounded by leaders who produce harmful and vindictive legislation attacking health care, living wages and voting rights,” said Hawkins. “As a Christian, I am called to speak for and stand with those whose voice is stifled and silenced. We are called to be the proclaimers of ‘good news to the poor.’ ”
Hawkins has been mobilizing the faith community in and around the D.C. area since the start of the campaign.
“The voice of the church is called to speak loudest when times are most dire and to act in ‘such a time as this,’” he said. “In faithful conscience and obedience to God, I could do no less than to have my freedom limited in order to expand theirs.”
Hawkins and the others were arrested for demonstrating on Supreme Court grounds, a misdemeanor. After spending the night in jail, they were expected to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.
The Poor People’s Campaign kicked off on Mother’s Day as a continuation of the initiative launched by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago when he called for direct action at statehouses across the country as well as the U.S. Capitol.
The Rev. Dr. William Barber II and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, a Presbyterian pastor and co-director of the Kairos Center, are co-chairing the national effort. The campaign will conclude with a mass mobilization at the U.S. Capitol on June 21. Hawkins says it’s just the beginning of a multi-year moral revival that will continue with mass voter registration in the fall.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
The Huffington Post recently conducted a survey which found that Donald Trump's supporters were more motivated by an interesting notion associated with race.
The website found that Trump supporters believe African-Americans are less deserving than average Americans.
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Monday, March 19, 2018
Roland Martin Slams Carson For Proposed Change To HUD’s Mission Statement
Secretary Ben Carson proposed a major change to the mission statement of HUD. The change would remove anti-discrimination language from the organization's mission statement. See what Roland Martin had to say about the proposed change Carson floated in a memo to staff.
If you have not read it, check out Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s book, "Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?" http://amzn.to/2FSoHeZ
Also, pick up Dorothy F. Cotton's book, "If Your Back's Not Bent: The Role of the Citizenship Education Program in the Civil Rights Movement" http://amzn.to/2FDgVlA
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Palestine to Black Lives Matter
In Democracy Now!’s special broadcast of the final 2016 U.S. presidential debate, they asked Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza what the major-party candidates should have addressed in their exchange: “I want to see more conversation about what it is going to take to preserve the quality of life of black people in this country, who are being systematically murdered, incarcerated, and otherwise marginalized and disenfranchised.”
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Monday, 24 Oct 2016
When a woman scores points in a debate, Donald Trump calls her “nasty.” When women hear a woman make solid points, they call her someone they will vote for.
In the final debate on Oct. 19, Trump failed at the critical task of bringing women home. Hillary Clinton had me at hello, even though I am one of the voters suffering from a serious enthusiasm gap.
Like many women, I want the first woman presidential candidate to be perfect. But watching Trump, her imperfections have all but disappeared. Women have to stop buying into the notion that a woman has to be twice as good as a man to get half as much credit.
In one exchange, she spoke for every woman who is overlooked. Her recitation of what she's accomplished — for example, fighting discrimination while he has been sued for it — exemplified the double standard.
She capped her list of contrasts with “On the day I was in the Situation Room monitoring the raid that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, he was hosting ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’”
Trump was oddly OK with that, nodding and arching an eyebrow with pride, as if he actually believes hosting a reality show is equivalent to a career in public service.
There have been many such moments in this campaign, but this one should finally make Republicans drown in shame for letting Trump take over their party. It wasn’t even a hostile takeover.
From the birther movement on they saw his power to energize the base and let him waltz in. Their craven acquiescence will not only lose them the White House but possibly their majorities in Congress, too.
There aren’t enough angry white men to make up for the gender chasm Trump’s behavior has opened. But rather than narrow the gap, almost every word out of his mouth seemed designed to widen it.
And that was before male bravado wouldn’t allow him to walk back his refusal to commit to respecting the election results if they didn’t turn out in his favor. Despite almost universal condemnation, he repeated the whopper on Thursday with a lame joke that he’d accept the results “if I win.”
In fairness, Trump held himself together for about 20 minutes of the debate, like a child given a warning kick under the table to behave at dinner. He made an inaccurate but nonetheless troublesome point about late-term abortions that Clinton did not have a good answer for.
But he went downhill quickly. When Clinton said something he disagreed with and he couldn’t reclaim the floor by loudly butting in (35 times), he leaned into the mike and said “Wrong” (five times) and “Give me a break” (twice).
Clinton would have had a harder time responding to a question about the Clinton Foundation’s “pay to play” if Trump hadn’t broken in to take back the floor that she was quietly happy to cede. A small interjection proved Clinton’s point that anytime he loses he says the game was rigged.
To her charge that he slammed the Emmy awards when he didn’t win one, he retorted “Should have gotten it.”
The U.S. Television Academy, which administers the awards, said in a tweet: "Rest assured, the #Emmys are not rigged."
Those are just the tics of behavior that so drive women to distraction that they don’t even focus on the substance, such as Trump’s determination to overturn Roe v. Wade and his resistance to any pushback against untrammeled gun rights.
He’s also nuke-happy. When Clinton said he’d been “very cavalier, even casual” with statements like “if we have them why don’t we use them,” he just called her “a liar.”
He had no rebuttal for body-shaming Miss Universe or calling her an eating machine.
He didn't even try to respond to the women who accused him of sexual assault who came out en masse after the airing of a tape in which he can be heard bragging about sexual assault: In a nutshell, his accusers are making it up and, anyway, those women don’t meet his standards for the kind of women he would be tempted to grope and, oh, Clinton got them to lie.
That’s when focus groups jerked their dials as low as they could go. When Trump declared, “Nobody has more respect for women than me,” Chris Wallace, the moderator, had to quell the laughter in the hall.
Trump volunteered that he was so sure he hadn’t done anything wrong that “I didn’t even apologize to my wife, who’s sitting right here, because I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know any of these — I didn’t see these women.”
Never mind that his wife recently broke her silence to give an interview in which she said he’d apologized. In Trumpland, being a real man means never having to say you’re sorry.
Even his responses that weren’t gender-related would set your typical suburban mom’s teeth on edge. Consider the twisted logic of Trump’s assertion that he has a soft spot for Vladimir Putin because the Russian president has said he likes him.
When she said Putin likes him because he wants a puppet, he snarled “You’re the puppet."
The all-out effort to repel women culminated when, as Clinton talked about her plan to ensure the solvency of Social Security, he muttered “Such a nasty woman,” He couldn’t resist the T-shirt ready insult because she said “My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”
Granted, if the forum in Las Vegas had been a primary debate, Trump would have won it with the Archie Bunker billionaire vote and those women now wearing “Talk Dirty to Me” T-shirts at his rallies. He doesn’t need more of them, nor does the party he’s slapped his brand on.
Thursday morning he said Clinton had been given the debate questions, a ridiculous charge but also an excuse for why she’d done better. She didn’t cheat, but she did win. Trump no doubt thinks he’d be less of a man if he admitted it.
Margaret Carlson is a former White House correspondent for Time, and was Time's first woman columnist. She appeared on CNN's "Capital Gang" for 15 years. Carlson has won two National Headliner Awards as well as the Belva Ann Lockwood alumni award from George Washington University Law School.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Civil Rights Leader Condemns Trump’s Call To Return Stop & Frisk
Trump's response to healing the racial divide in America is to offer the Black community more "law and order."
Written By NewsOne Now
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met face-to-face on Monday night for their first presidential debate at Hofstra University.
The two candidates touched on a number of issues and spent a considerable amount of time addressing racial tensions around the nation. During their exchange, Clinton and Trump addressed race, policing, and stop and frisk practices, on which both candidates offered their opposing views.
Roland Martin and his panel of guests discussed the candidates’ responses during Tuesday’s edition of NewsOne Now. Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of the Color of Change and one of the many individuals who worked on the campaign to end stop and frisk in New York City, said, “Not only did it not work, but it created tensions between communities and law enforcement where people didn’t trust law enforcement.”
Robinson added, “People were treated like enemy combatants in their own neighborhoods.”
Instead of using stop and frisk policies in cities around the country to end crime in the Black community, Robinson suggested that, “If you want to actually deploy stop and frisk, let’s stop and frisk Donald Trump for his taxes. Let’s stop and frisk Donald Trump for his foundation records and the money that he’s used in inappropriate ways.”
Trump’s response on how to heal the racial divide was to offer the African-American community more “law and order.” NewsOne Now panelist Lauren Victoria Burke, Political Analyst and Writer for NBCBLK, said Trump’s response essentially “brands Black people to crime.”
“Every time he [Donald Trump] brings African-Americans up, it’s about something negative and it’s usually something criminal, in fact, it’s almost always something criminal,” said Burke.
Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, explained Trump did not offer an answer to heal the racial divide and believes a major part of the issue deals with the vilification of Black communities. He said Trump’s views make African-Americans look as if they are not human beings.
Overton also agreed with Robinson’s assertion that stop and frisk policies “make communities less safe” and explained if African-American communities aren’t working with police because of a lack of trust, then everyone is unsafe.
Later during his remarks about Trump’s responses to racial issues, Overton said, “law and order applies to police” just as well as it can be applied to the communities in which law enforcement officers serve.
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the video clip above.
Civil Rights Leader Condemns Trump’s Call To Return Stop & Frisk: Roland Martin and NewsOne Now discuss Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s remarks regarding race, policing, and healing the racial divide.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Leaked Colin Powell Emails Rip 'Racist' Trump as 'National Disgrace
Former Secretary of State and retired four-star Gen. Colin Powell, who served under three Republican presidents, called Donald Trump "a national disgrace" and an "international pariah" in a personal email, BuzzFeed News reported.
According to the outlet, the June 17 email to Emily Miller, a journalist who was once Powell's aide, took steely aim at the GOP nominee, saying he "is in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him" – and at Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, whom Powell wrote "is calibrating his position again."
BuzzFeed reported the website DCLeaks.com — which has reported but unconfirmed ties to Russian intelligence services — obtained Powell's emails. BuzzFeed reported it has seen the posts.
According to the outlet, in an Aug. 21 email, Powell blasted Trump for embarking on a "racist" movement insinuating President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
"Yup, the whole birther movement was racist," Powell wrote, according to BuzzFeed. "That's what the 99 percent believe. When Trump couldn't keep that up, he said he also wanted to see if the certificate noted that he was a Muslim.
"As I have said before, 'What if he was?' Muslims are born as Americans everyday."
Powell also derided former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who advises Trump, saying the sex scandal-plagued executive would hurt Trump's chances among women voters.
"And Ailes as an advisor won't heal women, don't you think?'" Powell wrote, per BuzzFeed.
According to BuzzFeed News, the other emails included:
One from May with the subject line "racism," Powell wrote: "Or as I said before the 2012 election, 'There is a level of intolerance in parts of the Republican Party.'"
A December 2015 email to CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria, that observed: "You guys are playing his game, you are his oxygen. He outraged us again today with his comments on Paris no-go for police districts. I will watch and pick the timing, not respond to the latest outrage."
An email to an unnamed recipient about not wanting to give Trump media attention: "To go on and call him an idiot just emboldens him."
A July 21, 2015, email responding to Trump's giving out South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's phone number which called the move a "celebrification of society," and adding "Trump has no sense of shame."
Thursday, September 8, 2016
By Jim Hightower
An old saying asserts that falsehoods come in three escalating levels: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. But now there’s an even higher category of lies: a Donald Trump speech.
Take his recent address on specific economic policies he’d push to benefit hard-hit working families, including an almost-hilarious discourse on the rank unfairness of the estate tax.
“No family will have to pay the death tax,” he solemnly pledged, adding that “American workers have paid taxes their whole lives, and they should not be taxed again at death.”
But workers aren’t taxed at death. The first $5.4 million of any deceased person’s estate is already exempt from this tax, meaning 99.8 percent of Americans pay absolutely zero. And the tiny percentage of families who do pay estate taxes are multimillionaires — not workers.
Of course, Trump knows this. He’s shamefully trying to deceive real workers into thinking he stands for them, when in fact it’s his own wealth he’s protecting.
In the same speech, he offered a new childcare tax break to help working families by allowing parents to fully deduct childcare costs from their taxes. With a tender personal touch, Trump said his daughter Ivanka urged him to provide this helping hand to hard working parents because “she feels so strongly about this.”
Another deception — 70 percent of American households don’t have enough yearly income to warrant itemizing deductions. So the Americans most in need of childcare help get nothing from Trump’s melodramatic posturing.
Once again, his generous tax benefits would only flow uphill to wealthy families like his, giving the richest Americans a government subsidy for purchasing platinum-level care for their kids.
As an early 20th century labor leader noted, “Figures don’t lie, but liars do figure.”
Friday, July 22, 2016
Michael Eric Dyson is a New York Times op-ed contributor, MSNBC political analyst, and a professor in the Sociology Department at Georgetown University He has been named by Ebony as one of the most influential black Americans and is the author of 17 books. His upcoming book,The Black Presidency, is a provocative look—sharply critical at times, affirming at others—into the legacy and meaning of America's first black presidency.
Status of Black Males in American Society
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson eloquently articulates the on going issue of stereotypes and stigmas of black male identity
Michael Eric Dyson (born October 23, 1958) Described by Michael A. Fletcher as "a Princeton Ph.D. and a child of the streets who takes pains never to separate the two", Dyson has authored or edited 18 books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marvin Gaye, Nas's debut album Illmatic, Bill Cosby, Tupac Shakur and Hurricane Katrina.
Dyson was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Addie Mae Leonard, who was from Alabama. He was adopted by his stepfather, Everett Dyson. He attended Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on an academic scholarship but left and completed his education at Northwestern High School. He became an ordained Baptist minister at 19 years of age. Having worked in factories in Detroit to support his family, he entered Knoxville College as a freshman at age 21. Dyson received his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Carson–Newman College in 1985. He obtained his master's and Ph.D in religion, from Princeton University. Dyson serves on the board of directors of the Common Ground Foundation, a project dedicated to empowering urban youth in the United States. Dyson and his third wife, writer and ordained minister Marcia L. Dyson, are regular guests and speakers at the Aspen Institute Conferences and Ideas Festival. Together, they lecture on many American college campuses.
Dyson has taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, Brown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Columbia University, DePaul University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2007, he has been a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University. His 1994 book Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X became a New York Times notable book of the year. In his 2006 book Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, Dyson analyzes the political and social events in the wake of the catastrophe against the backdrop of an overall "failure in race and class relations".
In 2010, Dyson edited Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas's Illmatic, with contributions based on the album’s tracks by, among others, Kevin Coval, Kyra D. Gaunt ("Professor G"), dream hampton, Marc Lamont Hill, Adam Mansbach, and Mark Anthony Neal. Dyson's own essay in this anthology, "'One Love,' Two Brothers, Three Verses", argues that the current US penal system disfavors young black males more than any other segment of the population. Dyson hosted a radio show, which aired on Radio One, from January 2006 to February 2007. He was also a commentator on National Public Radio and CNN, and is a regular guest on Real Time with Bill Maher.
Beginning July 2011 Michael Eric Dyson became a political analyst for MSNBC. In May 2013, Dr. Dyson's credibility was questioned by the conservative website The Washington Free Beacon when he said that Attorney General Eric Holder, who was under criticism for the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press telephone records in an investigation of security leaks, "shouldn’t give up his office. What he should understand is that he is the chief law giver of the United States so to speak. He’s the Moses of our time and at least for this administration."
Michael Eric Dyson spells it out for white people: Police won't 'kill your child'
Dr. Michael Eric Dyson: Obama isn't Moses, he is Pharaoh
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Muammar Gaddafi Warned The World About ISIS Invasion Of Europe In 2011
NATO Destroyed Libya To Prevent Gold-Backed Dinar
While France led the proponents of the UN Security Council Resolution that would create a no-fly zone in Libya, it claimed that its primary concern was the protection of Libyan civilians (considering the current state of affairs alone, one must rethink the authenticity of this concern). As many “conspiracy theorists” will claim, one of the real reasons to go to Libya was Gaddafi’s planned gold dinar.
One of the 3,000 Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department on New Year’s Eve (where real news is sent to die quietly) has revealed evidence that NATO’s plot to overthrow Gaddafi was fueled by first their desire to quash the gold-backed African currency, and second the Libyan oil reserves.
The email in question was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by her unofficial adviser Sydney Blumenthal titled “France’s client and Qaddafi’s gold”.
The email identifies French President Nicholas Sarkozy as leading the attack on Libya with five specific purposes in mind: to obtain Libyan oil, ensure French influence in the region, increase Sarkozy’s reputation domestically, assert French military power, and to prevent Gaddafi’s influence in what is considered “Francophone Africa.”
Most astounding is the lengthy section delineating the huge threat that Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves, estimated at “143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver,” posed to the French franc (CFA) circulating as a prime African currency.
And here is the section of the email proving that NATO had ulterior motives for destroying Libya (UPDATE: The link has since been killed, but here is the web cache):
This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
(Source Comment: According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya. According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:
a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
b. Increase French influence in North Africa,
c. Improve his internal political situation in France,
d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa)
Ergo as soon as French intel discovered Gaddafi’s dinar plans, they decided to spearhead the campaign against him- having accumulated enough good reasons to take over.
Sadly, Gaddafi had earlier warned Europe (in a “prophetic” phone conversations with Blair) that his fall would prompt the rise of Islamic extremism in the West. A warning that would go unheeded; what’s a few lives in France and Libya, if the larger goal lines the pockets of politicians and the elite so much better after all?
Sources: Free Thought Project, NY Post, FOIA, Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Economists and Analysts Support Bernie’s Plan to Break Up the Big Banks
Bernie Sanders’ plan includes instating a law similar to the 1930s Glass-Steagall bill, separating commercial and investment banking. Doing this would break up the “too big to fail” financial institutions into smaller parts. Sanders also plans on pursing bringing criminal charges against banking executives that had a role in the 2008 financial crisis.
Now 170 economists and other financial professionals have officially endorsed the plan. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and CEPR’s Dean Baker are just two of the highly respected individuals that have pledged their support.
“In our view, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan for comprehensive financial reform is critical for avoiding another “too-big-to-fail” financial crisis. The Senator is correct that the biggest banks must be broken up and that a new 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking, must be enacted. Wall Street’s largest banks are now far bigger than they were before the crisis, and they still have every incentive to take excessive risks.
No major Wall Street executive has been indicted for the fraudulent behavior that led up to the 2008 crash, and fines imposed on the banks have been only a fraction of the banks’ potential gains. In addition, the banks and their lobbyists have succeeded in watering down the Dodd-Frank reform legislation, and the financial institutions that pose the greatest risk to our economy have still not devised sufficient “living wills” for winding down their operations in the event of another crisis.
The only way to contain Wall Street’s excesses is with reforms sufficiently bold and public they can’t be watered down. That’s why we support Senator Sanders’s plans for busting up the biggest banks and resurrecting a modernized version of Glass-Steagall.
Following on the heels of the Nation magazine’s endorsement (only their third ever) and new polls showing Sanders within striking distance of his rivals in Iowa and New Hampshire, it’s clear that not only the average people but also our academia are seeing the logic and necessity in Sanders’ proposals. This election will shape the future of our nation for decades to come; it is absolutely critical that we do not allow dark money and entrenched political establishments to preserve the plutocratic status quo. The fate of the middle class depends on it.”
These are the names of the intellectuals who place the betterment of our nation over the ravenous greed of hypercapitalism and the demands of American oligarchy:
1. Robert Reich, University of California Berkeley
2. Robert Hockett, Cornell University
3. James K. Galbraith, University of Texas
4. Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research
5. Christine Desan, Harvard Law School
6. Jeff Connaughton, Former Chief of Staff, Senator Ted Kaufman
7. William Darity Jr., Duke University
8. Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research
9. Brad Miller, Former U.S. Congressman and Senior Fellow, Roosevelt
10. William K. Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City
11. Lawrence Rufrano, Research, Federal Reserve Board, 2005-2015
12. Darrick Hamilton, New School for Social Research
13. Peter Eaton, University of Missouri-Kansas City
14. Eric Hake, Catawba College
15. Geoff Schneider, Bucknell University
16. Dell Champlin, Oregon State University
17. Antoine Godin, Kingston University, London, UK
18. John P. Watkins, Westminster College
19. Mayo C. Toruño, California State University, San Bernardino
20. Charles K. Wilber, Fellow, Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace
Studies, University of Notre Dame
21. Fadhel Kaboub, Denison University
22. Flavia Dantas, Cortland State University
23. Mitchell Green, Binzgar Institute
24. Bruce Collier, Education Management Information Systems
25. Winston H. Griffith, Bucknell University
26. Zdravka Todorova, Wright State University
27. David Barkin, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco
28. Rick Wicks, Göteborg, Sverige (Sweden) & Anchorage, Alaska
29. Philip Arestis, University of Cambridge
30. Amitava Krishna Dutt, University of Notre Dame
31. John F. Henry, Levy Economics Institute
32. James G. Devine, Loyola Marymount University
33. John Davis, Marquette University
34. Gary Mongiovi, St. John’s University
35. Eric Tymoigne, Lewis & Clark College
36. Trevor Roycroft, Ohio University
37. James Sturgeon, University of Missouri-Kansas City
38. Spencer J. Pack, Connecticut College
39. Thomas Kemp, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
40. Ronnie Phillips, Colorado State University
41. John Dennis Chasse, SUNY at Brockport
42. Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Bard College
43. Silvio Guaita, Institution, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
44. Glen Atkinson, University of Nevada, Reno
45. William Van Lear, Belmont Abbey College
46. James M. Cypher, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas
47. Philip Pilkington, Political Economy Research Group, Kingston University
48. Eric Hoyt, PhD candidate, UMass-Amherst
49. Jon D. Wisman, American University
50. James K. Boyce, University of Massachusetts Amherst
51. Hendrik Van den Berg, Professor Emeritus, Universities of Nebraska
52. Thomas E. Lambert, Northern Kentucky University
53. Michael Nuwer, SUNY Potsdam
54. Nikka Lemons, The University of Texas-Arlington
55. Scott T. Fullwiler, Wartburg College
56. Charles M A. Clark, St. John’s University
57. John T. Harvey, Texas Christian University
58. Daphne Greenwood, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs
59. Gerald Epstein, University of Massachusetts Amherst
60. Mohammad Moeini-Feizabadi, PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts
61. Rebecca Todd Peters, Elon University
62. Andres F. Cantillo, University of Missouri-Kansas City
63. Michael Meeropol, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Western New England
64. Robert H. Scott III, Monmouth University
65. Timothy A Wunder, Department of Economics University of TexasArlington
66. Mariano Torras, Adelphi University
67. Gennaro Zezza, Levy Economics Institute
68. Wolfram Elsner, University of Bremen
69. Larry Allen, Lamar University
70. John Miller, Wheaton College
71. Chris Tilly, UCLA
72. Sean Flaherty, Franklin and Marshall College
73. Clifford Poirot, Shawnee State University
74. Anita Dancs, Western New England University
75. Calvin Mudzingiri, University of the Free State
76. Roger Even Bove, West Chester University
77. Andrea Armeni, Transform Finance
78. Anwar Shaikh, New School for Social Research
79. Steven Pressman, Colorado State University
80. Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland, Carey School of Law
81. John Weeks, SOAS, University of London
82. Matías Vernengo, Bucknell University
83. Thomas Masterson, Levy Economics Institute
84. Antonio Callari, Franklin and Marshall College
85. Avraham Baranes, Rollins College
86. Janet Spitz, the College of Saint Rose
87. Nancy Folbre, University of Massachusetts Amherst
88. Jennifer Taub, Vermont Law School
89. Irene van Staveren, Erasmus University
90. Yavuz Yaşar, University of Denver
91. Scott McConnell, Eastern Oregon University
92. Don Goldstein, Allegheny College
93. J. Pérez Oya, Retired UN secretariat (Spain)
94. Elaine McCrate, University of Vermont
95. Thomas E. Weisskopf, University of Michigan
96. Jeffrey Zink, Morningside College
97. Scott Jeffrey, Monmouth University
98. Lourdes Benería, Cornell University
99. Frank Thompson, University of Michigan
100. Baban Hasnat, The College at Brockport, State University of New York
101. Ilene Grabel, University of Denver
102. Tara Natarajan, Saint Michael’s College
103. Leanne Ussher, Queens College, City University of New York
104. Kathleen McAfee, San Francisco State University
105. Victoria Chick, University College London
106. Steve Keen, Kingston University
107. Heidi Mandanis Schooner, The Catholic University of America
108. Louis-Philippe Rochon, Laurentian University
109. Jamee K. Moudud, Professor of Economics, Sarah Lawrence College
110. Timothy A. Canova, Shepard Broad College of Law, Nova Southeastern
111. Karol Gil Vasquez, Nichols College
112. Mark Haggerty, University of Maine
113. Luis Brunstein University of California, Riverside
114. Cathleen Whiting, Willamette University
115. William Waller, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
116. Kade Finnoff, University of Massachuettes-Boston
117. Maarten de Kadt, Independent Economist
118. Timothy Koechlin, Vassar College
119. Ceren Soylu, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
120. Dorene Isenberg, University of Redlands
121. Barbara Hopkins, Wright State University
122. Matthew Rice, University of Missouri-Kansas City
123. David Gold, The New School for Social Research
124. Cyrus Bina, University of Minnesota
125. Mark Paul, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
126. Xuan Pham, Rockhurst University
127. Erik Dean, Portland Community College
128. Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr., George Washington University Law School
129. Rohan Grey, President, Modern Money Network
130. Tamar Diana Wilson, University of Missouri—St. Louis
131. Radhika Balakrishanan, Rutgers University
132. Alla Semenova, SUNY Potsdam
133. Yeva Nersisyan, Franklin and Marshall College
134. Linwood Tauheed, University of Missouri-Kansas City
135. Michael Perelman, California State University, Chico
136. Janet T. Knoedler, Bucknell University
137. David Laibman, Brooklyn College and Graduate School, City University of
138. Ann Pettifor, Director, Policy Research in Macroeconomics, London
139. Steve Schifferes, City University London
140. Al Campbell, University of Utah
141. Faith Stevelman, New York Law School
142. Kathleen C. Engel, Suffolk University Law School
143. Jack Wendland, University of Missouri-Kansas City
144. Ruxandra Pavelchievici, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
145. Zoe Sherman, Merrimack College
146. Donald St. Clair, CFP, Financial Planning Assoc. of Northern California
147. Carolyn McClanahan, CFP, Life Planning Partners, Inc.
148. Thomas Ferguson, Senior Fellow, Roosevelt Institute
149. Saule T. Omarova, Cornell University
150. Josh Ryan-Collins, City University, London
151. June Zaccone, Hofstra University
152. Alex Binder, Franklin & Marshall College
153. Albena Azmanova, University of Kent, Brussels School of International
154. Hans G. Ehrbar, University of Utah
155. Devin T. Rafferty, St. Peter’s University
156. Reynold F. Nesiba, Augustana University
157. David Zalewski, Providence College
158. Claudia Chaufan, University of California-San Francisco
159. L. Randall Wray, Levy Economics Institute and Bard College
160. Richard B. Wagner, JD, CFP, WorthLiving LLC
161. Joseph Persky, University of Illinois-Chicago
162. Julie Matthaei, Wellesley College
163. Peter Spiegler, University of Massachuetts-Amherst
164. James Ronald Stanfield, Colorado State University
165. William D. Pitney, CFP, Director of Advocacy, FPA of Silicon Valley
166. Ora R. Citron, CFP, Oak Tree Wealth Management
167. Susan Webber, Former Associate at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
168. Richard D. Wolff, Democracy at Work and New School for Social Research
169. Mu-JeongKho, University College London
170. Kevin Furey, Chemeketa Community College
Sunday, April 3, 2016
“When the people of America use their power to see that this government operates in this manner then this country will be on the path leading to true greatness.”
by Michael Payne
Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist.
Donald Trump wants to neutralize the power that the Establishment holds over Washington by making dramatic changes to this government. He believes he can make America “Great again.” Bernie Sanders wants to implement universal health care, free tuition at public colleges, address inequality in America, and remove Corporate America’s money, power and influence from this government.
While the tone of their messages is distinctly different, Sanders and Trump are both traveling down similar paths to bring long overdue changes to this government. They both know that the embedded political Establishment that governs both the Republican and Democratic parties stands in the way of facilitating this process.
But, no matter what Sanders and Trump want to do, no matter how many of these revolutionary initiatives they want to put into effect, the members of that Establishment will fight them tooth and nail and it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to carry out their agenda. No incoming president, no matter how powerful he or she claims to be, can overcome this massive embedded power alone.
While Trump seems to think that he can force the powers that currently control Washington to bend to his dictates, Sanders clearly acknowledges that he would not be able to further his agenda unless he has the vast majority Americans strongly supporting him at every turn. Sanders is on the right track with his grasp of political reality while Trump is fooling himself.
So we can expect that Washington will remain in a state of gridlock and obstruction until the people use their immense power to force Congress to govern this nation as the Founders intended. Yes, I said “force”, which should be interpreted as the use of “people power.” Nothing will change for the better in America until that power is unleashed; the good news is that it appears that this process is gathering momentum.
Now, we can talk all we want to about using this power to enact change but how would this actually work in practice? Do we think that the American people will somehow organize themselves to take action on important issues before Congress and demand change? That’s simply not going to happen.
But there is a way by which it can happen. In the White House, there is a presidential tool referred to as the “Bully Pulpit”, a term originated by President Theodore Roosevelt, who called it a “terrific platform” by which to motivate Americans to strongly support what he wanted done. The Bully Pulpit was also used successfully by Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan.
In recent times, President Obama, a very eloquent speaker, has acted as if he didn’t even know the Bully Pulpit existed. He could have used it time and again to rally the American people to support critically important legislation that was being obstructed by the Republicans. He could have lit that fire and energized the people to shake the foundations of Congress and force through needed changes. He did nothing of the kind, he failed to use that presidential pulpit to effectively connect with the people; and, as a result, it has adversely affected this country and society.
These primary contests are a study in contrasts. We have Trump stirring up the people’s anger and frustration, trying to take the Republican Party in a direction which it doesn’t want to go; the GOP hierarchy seems to be powerless to stop Trump’s momentum and his intent to move the GOP away from its rigid conservatism; to take it more to the center of the political spectrum.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton wants to move the Democratic Party further to the right of center and become the champion of the Establishment. Rubio and Cruz are the Republican equivalents of Clinton. Rubio represents the cornerstone of the Establishment and Cruz is little more than a zealous war hawk; both are cut out of the same hubristic, militaristic cloth as Hillary. Neither Cruz, Rubio, Kasich nor Clinton has either the inclination or the capability to ignite that fire within this society but Sanders and Trump, quite obviously, do.
Trump’s mantra is to make America “Great again” and other politicians and Americans continue to insist that this is the greatest nation in the world. The reality is that America can never achieve true greatness until it completely transforms its government into one that backs away from its objective of dominating and controlling the world and, instead, makes the needs and interests of the people its #1 priority.
To escalate this process here is what Sanders, together with the Democratic Party, must do. A strong, continuing message must be sent to the American electorate that it’s time for them to rise up, stop sitting on the sidelines and become directly involved in electing the next president. Americans need to stop listening and watching the many mind-conditioning political commercials and think for themselves. They need to think deeply about the issues and assess the individual candidates’ positions on them.
They need to watch the debates of both parties; listen closely to what the participants say; tune out the bluster and boring repetition and see which candidate seems to have the best grasp of this country’s many pressing problems; see which candidate offers up substantive solutions. Get a feel for that candidate who seems to have a vision for the future and the direction into which this country should head.
And most important of all, to keep this movement’s momentum going, the American people must go to the polls in massive, record-setting numbers, exercise the power that they possess, and begin to lay the groundwork needed to change this broken, corrupted political system. No Super Pac, the Koch brothers or the Wall Street bankers can withstand the power of the people when it is fully unleashed.
I must say that I totally agree with Trump’s rallying call to make America “Great Again.” Unfortunately, he never gives us the details on how he would achieve that objective; so in the absence of his specific plan here is mine:
Keep America very safe and secure by maintaining a strong military, but not by engaging in endless war; stop interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, make this country’s major priorities: the improvement of our education system, the creation of millions of new jobs by restoring our manufacturing sector, building our workforce, rebuilding our infrastructure, and developing solar power.
Reverse the Citizens United case, remove corporations and their lobbyists from any involvement in governmental affairs; restructure the corporate tax code, end corporate tax evasion involving overseas tax havens and tax inversions. If corporations want to continue doing business in this country they must be loyal to this country and its people. Over a period of time identify those members of Congress who continue to refuse to do what is right for this country and its people and send them home packing; prosecute and send Wall Street white collar criminals to prison.
When the people of America use their power to see that this government operates in this manner then this country will be on the path leading to true greatness.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Bernie Sanders Delivers Passionate Speech on Native American Rights
Bernie Sanders continues his commitment to fighting for Native American’s rights by dedicating the majority of his rally speech in Arizona to talking about the serious issues they face in today’s society.
This week Sanders and his wife, Jane, met with several Native American and latino leaders in Arizona. Jane Sanders visited Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s notorious Tent City jail this week, which she found “very disturbing” and “inhumane”. The Tent City jail is known to have meat removed from prisoner’s meals and utilizes chain gangs.
“Today in America, one in four Native Americans are living in poverty, and the high school graduation rate is 67 percent, the lowest of any racial demographic group. The second leading cause of death for Native Americans between 15 and 24 is suicide. And that speaks to incredible despair.
One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime. Most of the offenders are non-Native. Most of the programs dedicated to the tribal nations are underfunded. That has led to inadequate housing, inadequate health care, inadequate education, and insufficient law enforcement.
Today, Native Americans have a lower life expectancy and higher rates of uninsured than the population at large, and even those who have health coverage have difficulty accessing the healthcare that they need.”
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
The struggle to create a nation and world of economic and social justice and environmental sanity is not an easy one. The struggle to try and create a more peaceful world will be extremely difficult. But this I know. Despair is not an option if we care about our kids and grandchildren. Giving up is not an option if we want to prevent irreparable harm to our planet.
We must stand up and fight back. We must launch a political revolution which engages millions of Americans from all walks of life in the struggle for real change. This country belongs to all of us, not just the billionaire class. And that’s what this campaign is all about.
Bernie Sanders: The Vox conversation
Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is the junior United States Senator from Vermont and a candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Sanders is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history. A self-described democratic socialist, he favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those of Scandinavia. He caucuses with the Democratic Party and has been the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee since January 2015.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sanders attended Brooklyn College before transferring to and graduating from the University of Chicago, where he was a member of the Young People's Socialist League, and active in the Civil Rights Movement as a student protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1963, he participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Sanders settled in Vermont in 1968, and ran unsuccessfully for Governor and U.S. Senator in the early to mid-1970s as a member of the Liberty Union Party. As an independent supported by the Vermont Progressive Party, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont's most populous city, in 1981. He was reelected to three more two-year mayoral terms before being elected to represent Vermont's at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in 1990. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to succeed the retiring Republican-turned-independent Jim Jeffords in the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012, he was reelected by a large margin, capturing almost 71% of the popular vote.
Since his election to the Senate, Sanders has emerged as a leading progressive voice on issues like income inequality, universal healthcare, parental leave, climate change, LGBT rights, and campaign finance reform. He rose to national prominence on the heels of his 2010 filibuster of the proposed extension of the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy. Sanders is also outspoken on civil liberties, and has been particularly critical of mass surveillance policies such as the Patriot Act, along with racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.
Bernie Sanders Portland Rally with Crowd of 20,000