I think what is frightening some is that democratic socialism is beginning to seem a fine alternative to what we have now.

I am beginning to think that Bernie Sander’s revolution is already in motion considering how much energy is being spend on preventing the take over of the United States of America by a Democratic Socialist. There is considerable fear out there not just that he might win but that, even if he does not, he has put something into motion that is, no matter what, going to change society in a profound way, if nothing else, the political culture that has been moribund because of the rigidness of the two party system in place. Sanders is not running as a third party candidate, but he might as well be, the possibility of such very real unless the democratic party does some serious remodeling to accommodate a new way of thinking.

I am going to begin dreaming of what this land and this world might be like if all had enough and all could live decent lives because they lived in a country with a properly kind and humane economic system built by a politics that was truly FOR the people, all of the people, that existed to “support and defend the more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

Democratic socialism!


Bernie is winning. Therefore he is not an American and Certainly not…

And certainly not a patriotic one or one who cares about democracy and freedom. Democracy and freedom means capitalism. Capitalism is the ultimate good no matter how badly it treats people or the earth. Socialism is the same as communism and neither has done anyone any good. In China, more people starve today than they did under the previous system and, sadly, no advances have been made in improving the quality of life for the people. The communist party takes all the people’s money and locks them up so that party members can have it all. In Cuba, there are people starving everywhere around the country, most in need of medical care and few educated enough to know what is happening to them. Bernie stands for such deprivation for the people and wants to insure that the wealth of the nation goes to him and his supporters. He does not want to do what the Cubans are doing, spending money on ecologically sound agriculture methods or rehabilitating large portions of the coast line to better sustain its animal and plant life. Bernie wants the Bern to burn the earth to an uninhabitable crisp and preserve just enough of it so his small band of Bernie Brothers and Sisters can live their lives without having to be pestered by the riffraff.



Fair and Just not yet…

Cannot ignore the Harvey W. trial outcome. Need to examine attitudes, how shaped, from where they come, how they are reinforced, and how what is allowable behavior is determined and by whom. A new America where respect for human beings and planet is central to thought process that guide decision making.

Harvey Weinstein found guilty

By Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN


Fair and Just not yet.

Something right here to undo a wrong that is now built into the system, money having a say in jurisprudence, even a little too much if fairness and equal justice is the goal–which it has to be if we are to have a sane and humane society.

NRA Fails to Block N.Y. Subpoenas Issued to its Former Ad Agency

By Erik LarsonFebruary 24, 2020, 11:17 AM PST

The National Rifle Association can’t prevent New York investigators from seeing documents subpoenaed from its former advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen, a judge ruled.


Honesty is a pain

I am realizing that my political choices may be losing me friends and that is how it will have to be. I am not where I am in my politics because I haven’t worked hard to get things right in my mind. I know how I got here and it has been along a path that I have carefully followed, step by step, carefully and cautiously. So, yes, I am stubborn, or perhaps stubborn here is just another word for deeply convinced about what is right and wrong and good and bad. My criteria for political decision making begins with humane and sane, the test, consistently so and absolutely sincere. I know of but one candidate for president who can be certified as such and for those who want to be angry and nasty to me for convictions I have worked hard to develop, so be it.


Change is a pain

You know, all who fight for revolutionary change, that is, truly meaningful change are, if sensible, worried about consequences–these must be a central topic of conversation–and what the benefits are, both in the context of the current reality and the forces that cause it to be as it is. How far to go at each step, another important consideration, slow sometimes bad for gaining momentum, too fast, chance of error increases. Finding a balanced approach that is appropriate for the situation might mean some radical appearing action at the onset to deal with what might prevent the movement from getting going at the start. Too, trying to find compromise is sensible but only if possible without giving up what the fight–and it will be a fight–is about.


Publicize to kill

A plan for supporters of democratic candidates, whoever they are. Start now to find ever thing about the candidate that may be used against him or her, all that can be construed to discredit and undermine, all that can be used to defame. START MAKING IT IS PUBLIC, NOW along with all evidence that exists that would make people think it is true and all that would prove to them that it is not. I am going to do this with Bernie. I want to find all the dirt, everything that can and will be used against him and CHECK IT OUT. I expect to find that most of the things that will be pulled out of his record to crush him by Trump and the republicans is less than fully true and not enough to show that he is not a good enough person for the job, characterize or other wise. Maybe we can get ahead of the game?


Accusations and debunking or bunking them.

This is not to prop up a candidate who is actually unworthy of election.  It is to respond to tropes out there that the author of a note I received causes him or her to feel very uncomfortable about Bernie because of the likelihood that this stuff will be pulled out to undermine him and Trump will win.

Dirty trick are dirty tricks and the publicizing of specious information to make a person to look bad is slander.  Yes, candidates will be slandered.  Any candidate who runs against Donald Trump.  They did it to Hillary who, I think, carried more relevant baggage, some of it made up, than does Bernie.

The trick to beat the tricksters is to DO DEBUNKING

What follows is my attempt to get at the truth behind some of the very worrisome claims the writer presents as possible truths and maybe not truths that can be used against candidate Sanders.

Decide for yourself how to deal with the material below but, if you really want to believe the claims, see if they hold up to what is presented after the comment.  If you really do not want to believe, try really hard to find whatever there is out there that might prove it true.  This is how we can get to a point of understanding what is real and not and how to plan for the future, maybe dumping Bernie or findings ways to honestly defend against false accusations if they turn out to be such.

They have not released any of this and I worry that they won’t until he is the nominee. And then when they do, his numbers plummet, game over. In their arsenal: His Moscow honeymoon, with photos of him half naked drinking shots with other half naked men, while the fully clothed women seemed to look on submissively; a short story he wrote claiming that women like to fantasize about being gang-raped; his plan to ship Vermont’s toxic waste to a poor region of Texas,

I am reading this note and, if any of the were true, could be proven.  I do this with any claims about any candidate or political figure who is being scrutinized.  Certainly, any of this can be used, and will be used, to create a negative notion of the character of the man, his patriotism and his judgement.  First, is there really more baggage here than there is on any other candidate.  Well, he does seem to have had more respect for Russian people than other anti-communists might but, when one is a guest in a foreign country, a civil one, they do their best to understand not just what is negative about that countries system and its people but what, also, may be good about it.  Yes, Sanders is more sympathetic than might be other American politicians because he is seeing positives of socialism –an aspect of communism.  And there are many and it might be said that under certain communist regimes, not Stalin’s, of course, the WORKING PEOPLE OF RUSSIA were better off than what came before and what came after communism fell, despite the bad crap that went on.  So, maybe he was naïve, but I don’t think so.  I think he was being hospitable and open minded, something those who want him elected can begin now to put out into the whatever sphere it is.

I will look into the treatment of women in his campaign accusation.  I do know that Bernie is supported by many women and despite the “photos of him half naked drinking shots with other half naked men, while the fully clothed women seemed to look on submissively,” the better explanation of which is discussed in one of the articles below.  It really was nothing like what the content of the comment suggests.

As for his work record, he sounds like, as a young man, a socialist who, like me could not stomach the idea of working for a capitalist enterprise of any magnitude, found his way to a merger living by doing what he could while sticking to values difficult to stick to in our society.  Somehow, the people of Burlington did not see him to be other than a decent citizen despite the fact that he did not go after big bucks AND HE WAS NOT ON DISABILITY until he was 40.

Snopes: “The criticisms offered in meme were a mixture of true, false, irrelevant, and misleading statements. To wit:

Never owned a business

Right off, this meme begins with a rather nebulous criticism. Although having owned a business is an experience many voters would like to see on the résumé of a potential chief executive, a literal application of that term isn’t of much relevance. Technically, a person who once operated a roadside lemonade stand has “owned a business,” while a person who has spent his career serving as the CEO of a public multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation has not — even though everyone would agree the latter has vastly more business experience than the former. And certainly a number of highly-regarded U.S. presidents in the modern era (e.g., Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan) never owned their own businesses.

Moreover, one might validly say that Sanders started and operated his own business (whether he “owned” it is somewhat arguable, as it was a non-profit), the American People’s Historical Society, which was created in 1978 to produce educational film strips about the history of Vermont. The University of Vermont has archived several of the brochures produced by the American People’s Historical Society, one of which includes a statement from Sanders outlining the purpose of his film strips:

Director Bernard Sanders explained, “It is our belief that state and regional history has too long been neglected by the audio-visual industry, and we are happy to begin the process of rectifying that situation. We believe that students have the right to learn about the state and region in which they are living.”

While the financials of the American People’s Historical Society are not available, Sanders wrote in his memoir Outsider in the House that the business was reasonably successful and “a lot of fun.” A friend of Sanders’ told Politicothat the film strip business “wasn’t just a way to make money … He made filmstrips about people he admired and believed in. He just thought kids should know the truth of how things really were.”

Never invented anything

Once again, this is a rather nebulous criticism. The concept of “inventing” something could range from simply thinking up a novel idea (but doing nothing more about it), to creating and building a device for personal use (but not marketing it), to actually obtaining a patent for a new product. Bernie Sanders is certainly no inventor and holds no patents, but it’s hard to see how that fact is of any relevance, as the same is true of nearly every U.S. president.

Thomas Jefferson might legitimately be considered an inventor for having conceptualized various devices (including a macaroni machine, a swivel chair, a spherical sundial, a moldboard plow, and a cipher wheel), although he held no patents because he believed them to be a form of monopoly. Abraham Lincoln was the only U.S. president who ever held a patent, having been issued Patent #6,469 for “A Device for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals” on 22 May 1849. Beyond that, “inventing” has historically had nothing to do with the qualifications or success of candidates for the White House.

Never had a 9 to 5 job

This criticism is too vaguely worded to allow for much cogent analysis. What does holding a “9 to 5 job” mean? That one literally works from 9 AM to 5 PM (and not some other period of the day)? That one holds full-time employment? That one is paid on an hourly basis? That one toils at what is commonly referred to as a “blue collar” job? That one works for someone else rather than being self-employed?

If we assume the most seemingly relevant application of the term — that it refers to holding steady, full-time employment — then one might fairly say it applies to Bernie Sanders. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Chicago in 1964, Sanders primarily worked a series of odd jobs while attempting to get his political career off the ground, and a Politico article observed that he “didn’t collect his first steady paycheck until he was an elected official pushing 40 years old.” However, that same article did list a variety of jobs Sanders held (even if they weren’t steady or didn’t provide a livable wage) before he finally reached public office upon being elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, at age 39 — working as an aide at a psychiatric hospital, as a Head Start preschool teacher, as a carpenter, and as a freelance writer for local publications:

Sanders rented a small brick duplex at 295 1/2 Maple Street that was filled with not much furniture and not much food in the fridge but stacks of checked-out library books and scribbled-on legal pads.

“Pretty sparse,” Gene Bergman, an old friend, said about the apartment.

“Stark and dark,” said Darcy Troville, a fellow Liberty Unionite who lived around the corner and shared with Sanders homemade jellies and jams.

“The electricity was turned off a lot,” Barnett said. “I remember him running an extension cord down to the basement. He couldn’t pay his bills.”

He worked some as a carpenter, although “he was a shitty carpenter,” [Liberty Union party member John] Bloch told me. “His carpentry,” [Liberty Union member Danny] Morrisseau said, “was not going to support him, and didn’t.”

He worked as a freelance writer, putting intermittent pieces in the low-budget Vermont Freeman, a Burlington alternative weekly called the Vanguard Press and a glossy, state-supported magazine called Vermont Life.

His writing wasn’t a living. The Vanguard paid as little as the rest. “It would’ve been not more than 50 bucks,” said Greg Guma, a former editor. Vermont Life? “Our rate was 10 cents a word,” said Brian Vachon, a former editor.

“He was always poor,” Sandy Baird, another old friend, told me in Burlington.

“Virtually unemployed,” said Nelson, the political science professor at the University of Vermont.

“Just one step above hand to mouth,” said Terry Bouricius, who was involved with Liberty Union, served at times as a de facto campaign manager for Sanders and at one point crashed for a couple months on his couch.

Liberty Union “people found it difficult to support themselves while engaging in full-time political work,” Michael Parenti, one of those people, wrote in the Massachusetts Review in the summer of 1975. “Some held jobs that allowed free time for campaign activities, while others lived off unemployment insurance.”

“His work was to be a politician,” Guma said. “He put everything into what he was doing.”

We would also note by that by the standard used here, holding elective office (as Sanders has done for most of the last 35 years as a mayor, a U.S. representative, and a U.S. senator) is as much a “9 to 5” job as any other.”

Bernie’s mystery Soviet tapes revealed

Unseen by the public for three decades, a POLITICO reporter views hours of footage from his 1988 ‘honeymoon’ to the USSR.


05/17/2019 02:01 PM EDT

The Bernie Sanders ‘Rape Fantasy’ Essay, Explained

Danielle KurtzlebenMay 29, 20156:30 PM ET

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivers remarks at a town meeting at the South Church on May 27 in Portsmouth, N.H.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Mother Jones dug up a 1972 essay that Bernie Sanders wrote for the Vermont Freeman, an alternative newspaper. The article, called, “Man-and-Woman,” is a commentary on gender roles. But it’s also caused a stir, as is bound to happen anytime a candidate mentions rape.

If you haven’t been following the hubbub, read on for a rundown of what the controversy is all about.

So what did Bernie Sanders write and what did he say about rape?
The essay by the Vermont senator, who officially kicked off his presidential campaign this week, isn’t long — only a page. Warning: The bit about rape comes at the very beginning, as does some not-totally-safe-for-work language:

“A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused.

“A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.

“The man and woman get dressed up on Sunday — and go to Church, or maybe to their ‘revolutionary’ political meeting.

“Have you ever looked at the StagManHeroTough magazines on the shelf of your local bookstore? Do you know why the newspaper with the articles like ‘Girl 12 raped by 14 men’ sell so well? To what in us are they appealing?”

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Stay on top of the latest stories and developments, sent when news breaks.Sanders then goes on to explain his ideas about gender roles and eventually gets at a sharper point — that traditional gender roles help create troubling dynamics in men’s and women’s sex lives.

“Many women seem to be walking a tightrope,” he writes, as their “qualities of love, openness, and gentleness were too deeply enmeshed with qualities of dependency, subservience, and masochism.”

He adds that men, likewise, are confused:

“What is it they want from a woman? Are they at fault? Are they perpetrating this man-woman situation? Are they oppressors?”

One way to read the essay is that Sanders was doing (in a supremely ham-handed way) what journalists do every day: draw the reader in with an attention-getting lede, then get to the meat of the article in the middle. Though he only sticks to his larger point for three paragraphs before getting back to his fictional couple, ending the essay with an imagined conversation:

“And she said, ‘You wanted me not as a woman, or a lover, or a friend, but as a submissive woman, or submissive friend, or submissive lover…’

“And he said, ‘You’re full of ______.’

“And they never again made love together (which they had each liked to do more than anything) or never saw each other one more time.”

What has the Sanders campaign said?
The Sanders campaign quickly tried to distance itself — and the candidate — from the 43-year-old essay. Campaign spokesman Michael Briggs called the essay a “dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative publication” in an interview with CNN, adding that it “in no way reflects his views or record on women.” He added, “It was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the ’70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then.”

So what does this say about Sanders’ attitude toward women?
You can draw divergent conclusions from the article itself. On the one hand, he’s talking about liberating people from harmful gender norms. On the other, with his nameless hypothetical “man-and-woman” characters, he also seems to imply that men fantasize about raping women or that women fantasize about being raped.

The 2016 presidential field has been quiet about it, but conservative Erick Erickson jeered at Sanders supporters on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Bill Kristol and Town Hall’s Katie Pavlich turned the essay on Bill Clinton, using it as an opening to mention past allegations of sexual misconduct on his part.

National Review writer Charles C.W. Cooke, though, dismissed the essay as insignificant:

“Nobody honestly believes that Bernie Sanders is a sexual pervert or that he is a misogynist or that he intends to do women any harm. Nobody suspects that he harbors a secret desire to pass intrusive legislation or to cut gang rapists a break. Really, there is only one reason that anyone would make hay of this story, and that is to damage the man politically.”

Rather than criticize Sanders for something he wrote long ago, Cooke added, “until I see any sign of actual wrongdoing I’d much prefer to slam Sanders for his dangerous and ridiculous politics than to delve back into his past and embarrass him with a long-forgotten opinion.”

Looking at his political life, it’s true that Sanders’ record shows an ongoing concern for women’s rights. Katie McDonough at left-leaning compiled a list of measures Sanders has supported or sponsored to protect women from violence and sexual assault.

Are there any lessons to draw from this?
Absolutely: if you’re a politician — especially on the national level — everything you’ve ever written, said, or done can, and likely will, be dredged up for all the world to inspect and critique.

It’s not the first time writings from long ago have resurfaced to be used against a candidate. Republican Bob McDonnell’s 20-year-old thesis about his views on women was also used as a cudgel against him in his bid for governor of Virginia in 2009.

When Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s name began to surface as a potential vice-presidential candidate in 2012, the political world began writing about his 1994 essay about an exorcism he says he witnessed. (See here and here.) That, by the way, is sure to come up again if he runs in 2016 or any time in the future.

Many candidates have also faced plagiarism charges, like Democratic Sen. John Walsh of Montana, who dropped out of his re-election race last year after the New York Times reported he had lifted portions of the final paper he wrote to get his master’s degree.

Vice President Joe Biden admitted in 1987 to cribbing a speech from a British politician, but said it wasn’t “malevolent.” In 2008, the Clinton campaign accused Barack Obama of lifting lines from his friend, then-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

And then there are the countless officials who have been embarrassed in the media for sexual impropriety, including the aforementioned Bill Clinton. Eliot SpitzerAnthony WeinerDavid VitterJohn EnsignChris LeeVito FossellaMark FoleyDennis Hastert.

It’s not just elected officials — consider the flap over past comments in which now-Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor described herself as a “wise Latina.” It’s not plagiarism or an affair, but it created a headache for her during confirmation hearings.

The scrutiny is part of why so many people want nothing to do with the white hot spotlight that comes with running for office.

Bernie Sanders

In 1988, then-mayor of Burlington (Vt.) Bernie Sanders traveled to the Soviet Union to establish a “sister city” relationship with the city of Yaroslavl. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

BURLINGTON, Vt. — It’s 1988 and newlywed Bernie Sanders is in the Soviet Union with his wife, Jane, handing out gifts to the mayor of a midsized city they’ve befriended. The mood is festive as the two bestow the items: A Beatles album, a red “Bernie for Burlington” button, “delicious Vermont candy” and a tape of tunes Sanders recorded himself with fellow artists from Vermont, among other goodies.

“I have met many fine mayors in the United States,” Sanders says, “but I want to say that one of the nicest mayors I’ve ever met is the mayor of Yaroslavl.”

At another point,a member of Sanders’ delegationhands a Russian woman a small American flag.

“If you’re wondering what’s wrong with capitalism, it’s made in Hong Kong,” he jokes. “Sorry about that.”

The scene is part of 3½ hours of raw, neverpublicly seen footage of the trip Sanders took to the Soviet Union that year — his “honeymoon.” POLITICO viewed the tapes this week, along with a forgotten hourlong episode of a TV show created by Sanders that featured the same trip, at the offices of a Vermont government access channel.

Earlier this year, two minutes of the long-lost videos went viral when a staffer at Chittenden County’s Channel 17 posted a compilation of the station’s archival footage online. The clip featured a shirtless Sanders and other Americans singing “This Land Is Your Land” to their hosts after relaxing in a sauna. A few minutes later, Sanders doled out the gifts to his Russian friends with a towel wrapped around his waist.

But that’s only the beginning. The hours of footage include a scene of Sanders sitting with his delegation at a table under a portrait of Vladimir Lenin. Sanders can also be heard extolling the virtues of Soviet life and culture, even as he acknowledges some of their shortcomings. There are flashes of humor, too, such as his host warning the American guests not to cross the KGB, or else.

The video also paints a fuller picture of why Sanders ventured to the land of America’s No. 1 enemy in the midst of the Cold War, the anti-war idealism that fueled his journey, and what he found when he got there.

Over the course of 10 days, Sanders, who was then the mayor of Burlington, and his dozen-member delegation traveled to three cities: Moscow, Yaroslavl and Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg. Their goal was to establish a “sister city” relationship with Yaroslavl, a community along the Volga River home to about 500,000 people. At the time, the Soviet Union was beginning to open itself to the world, if only slightly — and Sanders was a self-described socialist with an unusually large interest in foreign affairs for a mayor.

“It wasn’t as outlandish as it looks in the pictures,” William Pomeranz, the deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, said after hearing a description of the footage. “It’s the height of Glasnost and Perestroika, where there are genuine efforts by Americans to reach out to Soviet cities and try to establish these relationships.”

At the time, Sanders was 46 and nearing the end of his eight years as Burlington mayor, which tracked precisely with Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Two years later, Sanders would be elected to Congress. 

As mayor, Sanders worried about a potential nuclear war and railed against the bloated military budgets of both the United States and the Soviet Union. A year before the trip, he laid out his vision for a sister-city relationship. “By encouraging citizen-to-citizen exchanges — of young people, artists and musicians, business people, public officials, and just plain ordinary citizens,” he said in a speech, “we can break down the barriers and stereotypes which exist between the Soviet Union and the United States.”

Sanders’ opponents, though, will likely find much in the tapes to call outlandish. And in a campaign season in which Democrats are concerned about nothing more than defeating President Donald Trump, there’s plenty of material that Democratic voters might worry the Republican Party could spin into a 30-second negative ad.

Sanders is seen living it up with Russians. There are, naturally, shrines to Lenin everywhere. In one scene, Sanders and his wife, as well as other couples, boogie to live Russian music. “I brought my special dancing shoes!” Sanders exclaims. 

Later, he tells a Russian man, “I’m not very happy about this, but there are not many people in the state of Vermont who speak Russian. In fact, one of the things that we want to do is to see if we can develop a Russian studies program in our high school.”

At another point, one of Sanders’ hosts jokingly warns the delegation to not upset the KGB: “Those who don’t behave move to Siberia from here.”

For now, many of the videos will remain available for viewing only in CCTV’s archives. POLITICO learned about the tapes after reporting on a TV show Sanders created while mayor called “Bernie Speaks With the Community.” The government-access channel is not planning to put the raw tapes documenting the Soviet Union trip online because they never aired, said executive director Lauren-Glenn Davitian. However, she does intend to post the lost episode of Sanders’ TV show online soon.

The tapes also reveal Sanders and his team being wooed by the Soviet Union: They eat nice-looking meals, tour a decorated subway station, take horse-and-buggy rides and watch professional dancers. A cab driver serenades members of Sanders’ delegation — it’s unclear whether Sanders was in the car — with songs for minutes on end. When they return home, the Americans said the cabbie liked them so much that he didn’t charge a fare.

“The Soviet Union always treated foreign guests very, very well,” said Pomeranz said. “They always wanted to show off the best side of their country and that invariably included a big table with a lot of food.”

At times, though, Sanders’ team saw behind the curtain: The tapes showed people who appear to be waiting in line for food as well as the Soviet Union’s shabby housing stock. Inside one Russian’s apartment, Sanders addresses the poor conditions.

“It’s important to try to translate this,” he says. “In America, in general, the housing is better than in the Soviet Union.”

There are also mundane scenes of everyday life — cars rolling around traffic circles, townspeople walking down the street, athletes playing sports on TV — rendered fascinating because of the moment in which they occurred.

According to a newspaper account at the time, members of Sanders’ mayoral team paid for the trip but also received their regular salary while abroad.

Throughout the videos, as well as in the final episode of “Bernie Speaks With the Community,” Sanders speaks at length about his dream of reducing conflict between the two nations by building relationships between ordinary citizens. While being interviewed by a Russian man on a bus, he says he would “love” for young people to participate in exchange programs between the two cities.

Sanders suggests a similar initiative for media outlets. He tells the man that a Vermont editor is coming to the Soviet Union soon and that “I have asked her to drop in [to] your newspaper.”

Sanders’ wife also talks to teachers in the Soviet Union over tea. She asks them detailed questions about their work and proposes a teacher and student exchange program.

“One thing we are very impressed with is the cultural life,” she tells them. “We strive in Burlington to enrich the cultural life as much as possible. But we have much further to go.”

Bruce Seifer, a top economic development aide to Sanders when he was mayor, said that 100 residents from Yaroslavl immigrated to Burlington after the trip and others visited.

“Over time, it had a positive impact on to the economy,” he said. “Businesses started doing exchanges between Burlington and Yaroslavl.”

Davitian, who lived in Burlington at the time, said progressives were thrilled by Sanders’ trip to the Soviet Union, while everyday residents didn’t mind. “As long as the streets were getting paved, there wasn’t opposition to him as an activist mayor,” she said. 

When Sanders’ delegation returned to Burlington, CCTV captured the group on film in a hopeful mood, applauding the Soviet Union’s after-school programs, low rent costs and hospitality.

At the same time, they admit the poor choices of available food. Sanders says he was impressed by the beauty of the city and Soviet officials’ willingness “to acknowledge many of the problems that they had.” 

“They’re proud of the fact that their health care system is free,” he says, but concede that the medical technology is far behind that of the United States.

Later that year, the relationship was officially established. Since then, “exchanges between the two cities have involved mayors, business people, firefighters, jazz musicians, youth orchestras, mural painters, high school students, medical students, nurses, librarians, and the Yaroslavl Torpedoes ice hockey team,” according to Burlington’s city government. A delegation traveled there as recently as 2016.

“They were just as friendly as they could possibly be,” Sanders said at a news conference at the airport after returning from the trip. “The truth of the matter is, they like Americans, and they respect Americans, and they admire Americans.”

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Kill Bernie by association

I know that this is too long for most, that some think ideas can be explained on a bumper sticker or borrowed placard or in less that 20 words–Sanders is a shit–Bernie surrounds himself with thugs–anyone but Trump–and that is not only enough but much better than the long comment. Really, I no longer give a shit if anyone reads my crap. I fail horribly to do what I set out to do, provoke meaningful conversation. Here’s to that failure extended infinitely.

I am both saddened and scared by the friends and relatives who have been absorbing and being poisoned by the attacks, NOT on Bernie Sanders for what Bernie Sanders says or stands for but who they have been told his followers are. What you are hearing is desperation from a ruling class who thrive on the kind of capitalism that Sanders threatens and who want you to think that their centrist solutions are really meaningful in terms of getting rid of the evil that brought us to this point, to a Trump. How many more need to be fucked over by this system–its insistence on cheap labor, its licensing of industries that harm the environment and people, that underfund schools and keep in place the system of higher education that is about who can afford rather than who is able. 

Really, this bullshit about Sanders began to come out when he became a leading candidate. And, those who are spreading the bullshit in order to help Elizabeth Warren, should remember that Elizabeth’s positions were made acceptable because Bernie Sanders opened the door for candidates who are viable because they challenge the establishment.

I am angry (oh no! Just like Bernie and his Bros, right?) and I am terribly saddened and terrified by the profound lack of political and historical insight that allows people not to see the necessity of a political revolution. I am truly amazed after decades and decades of growing from worse to more worse–how much money did we allow get into the hands of the rich and how many laws have we allowed the rich and corporate to pass that say fuck you to most and take even more those who have too much?

It is coming to the point that there is so much bullshit in the system that no one can think straight anymore. And that is how it is that a truly decent person like Bernie Sanders–SHOW ME THE FLAWS IN HIS PHILOSOPHY–can be savaged so by those who consider themselves to be fair and just and liberal.

Think I am the sucker? Keep thinking that and see what you get when the choice is from the center, that meaning more of the status quo, and for four or eight years there is a quiet retreat from the insanity of today before it comes back even worse than Trump.



Let it rip. Polite gets one nowhere because polite is sissy stuff in the hard core world that is our society. So a man works a good part of his life on the “wrong side of things” that really is the side to make more humane an inhumane system and, when his ideas catch on with too many, the system has to kill him off.

And there are people who not only allow this to happen, refuse to give to him what he deserves, praise, if for nothing else, being principled in a humane manner. Now the system sees him as a threat and the big tear apart anyone who threatens machine begins to do its work by convincing, with astounding ease, that the man is not a good man but a menace.

In this case it takes a certain kind of, what to call it, I want to call it stupidity, but that doesn’t quite capture it–naiveté that comes of acculturation, of indoctrination that causes people to buy what they do not need and buy into what is not true.

Think about the worst of Bernie the man, the politician. Yes, he sided with gun people in his state before learning better–live and learn–and Elizabeth Warren–and this is a really big deal–said he said that a woman could not win the presidency, this in private, never in public to incite people to vote for a man, never, probably at all.

So the best that can be done? Argue that he is a bad man because some–what percentage might that be–of those who support him are assholes? I have had a little of that myself, crazy students who made other students think I somehow endorsed their craziness.

We are falling into a deep pit and going to it voluntarily convinced by the snakes that there is something good at the bottom. Really, nothing but snakes, right, so why not just become one.