Feeling the Bern-Out? Feel the Movement

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2016 by jtoddring

To put it briefly, it’s the movement that matters. The office of the President is secondary to the movement, and almost, but not quite, peripheral. Winning the presidency is significant. It can be a rallying point which inspires the people to further action, and to greater goals and greater victories. But it is secondary to the movement itself — significant, but secondary. The movement is what is essential. And what’s more, if the Bernie Sanders supporters stay strong, there can be victory in both regards.

It looks like it is going to be a contested convention. That means the pundits are irrelevant, because anything can happen. Remember that. And here are a few other important points we should remember, and bear in mind, as the battle just begins.


To put things into perspective, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent extreme right wing political trends and policies. Hillary is a neocon, carrying forward the legacy of Ronald Reagan, Bush Senior, her husband, the Bush-Cheney regime, and Obama, who together, successfully rolled back the greater part of the social gains made by the New Deal, and even, quite literally, since the Magna Carta, further consolidating the powers of the ruling corporate elite, unleashing corporate globalization, and deregulating Wall Street, beginning the construction of a police state and the demolition of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and democracy and freedom in America, and intensifying and expanding the already raging imperial wars abroad — all for the sake of elite interests and corporate profits, of course.

So Hillary comes from that tradition, that legacy, and that ideology, and is a proven neocon, like her husband, Bill Clinton, like Bush I and Bush II, like Obama, and very much like Reagan and Thatcher. She presents herself as a liberal progressive, and a populist democrat, exactly as Obama did. But brand Obama turned out to be a disguise and a PR cover for a continuation of further neocon policies, exactly as I warned in 2007, before he was first elected as president, and Shillery Clinton is no different. She works for Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. That explains it all, and that summarizes it all.

As Ron Paul said of Hillary, “She’s a neocon. She could run as a Republican.” And now she’s courted the Bush family, and is seeking, and gaining, the support of the establishment Republicans — meaning, the necon Republicans — just as she has the backing of the establishment Democrats, who are the other wing of the US corporate party, as Chomsky has said.

Hillary is a psychopath, frankly, with a maniacal lust for war and a proven track record of habitual lying, hawkish militarism and empire fetish, and loyal service to Wall Street — she can be supported by no one of sound mind or sound conscience, under any circumstances. Period.

Trump is even further to the right than Hillary in some ways. And we should remember that the Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower would have considered Hillary a lunatic, and an extreme right-wing fanatic.

So we have, once again, exactly as in 2012, two major candidates in the US presidential election who are on the far right — Hillary and Trump. They don’t present themselves that way of course, because the great majority of the people of the US hold centre-left views, and so, they try to play the role of centrist or center-left populists, which they decidedly are not. They are slight variations on Dick Cheney, and nothing other.

Bernie is the one candidate in the 2016 US presidential election who is resisting the ominous slide to the far right and the on-going corporate take-over of the nation and the world. He is neck and neck with Hillary in the polls now — pretty much even; but the fact that Hillary commands the most powerful political machine in the United States — at the present moment at least, though it is rapidly crumbling — and is overwhelmingly favoured by the Democratic party establishment, is deeply worrisome. Remember, however, it ain’t over ‘till it’s over. And as Thoreau said, there is more day yet to dawn.


“I think Clinton supporters have done a huge disservice to America by turning their backs on Bernie in favor of a war hawk neocon establishment shill like Hillary. All they have done is help the establishment continue screwing us all. It’s beyond my comprehension that we could have had an indomitable coalition of moderate independents and conservatives along with progressives and liberals that make up Bernie’s supporters, except for a bunch of moderates that were either fixated on electing the first female President, lack the vision and courage required to stand up to the establishment, or are blind to the problems this country faces, choosing to support the candidate of choice for the very establishment that’s screwing us all. We could have stopped worrying about Trump or any other Republican long ago had Clinton supporters joined our political revolution. We could have been focused on the Congressional and Senate races and getting the progressive candidates elected. Instead we are on the verge of losing this once in a lifetime opportunity to make America by the people, for the people, and possibly losing the general election as the result. How sad is that?

We are keenly aware of the problems facing this nation and we are aware that neocon Dems and neoliberal Republicans are cut from the same cloth. They just pander to different base voters so neocon Dems like Hillary pay lip service to progressive and liberal ideals and Republicans pay lip service to conservative and evangelical “Christian” ideals. Both ultimately serve the same master: the oligarchy and the plutocrats. Those that have come to this realization have no allegiance to either party.”

– Patrick Steele

Well said. I absolutely agree. But I still hope that Bernie can win, in one way or another — if not through the primaries, then as a third party candidate — and I think that he still can. At this point, anything is still possible, and the game is far from over. But regardless, Bernie is not the revolution, but only one of its many leading figures. With or without capturing the White House, we go on. And that is the most critical thing to remember.

We should remember also, for context, something that Chomsky has pointed out, and which should be obvious, and that is: the entire political landscape in the US, and both major parties, have slid so far to the right over the past fifty years, that what was once a moderate Republican stance, under Eisenhower, which is a New Deal democratic policy framework, is now viewed as the radical left. The Democratic party establishment is now a right wing neocon/neoliberal party, firmly ruled by Wall Street and big business, and entirely subservient to the ruling corporate powers; while the Republican party has become a party of the extreme right. These simple facts must be understood and born in mind if we are to have any sense of perspective on the current US presidential campaign at all. If we fail to realize this, we are completely and utterly lost.

Chomsky gives a lucid overview of the state of US politics in 2016, and which Common Dreams writer Jake Johnson elaborates upon, and it is worth quoting at length, and contemplating in depth:

“”It is very similar to late Wiemar Germany,” Chomsky said. “The parallels are striking. There was also tremendous disillusionment with the parliamentary system. The most striking fact about Wiemar was not that the Nazis managed to destroy the Social Democrats and the Communists but that the traditional parties, the Conservative and Liberal parties, were hated and disappeared. It left a vacuum which the Nazis very cleverly and intelligently managed to take over.”

For decades, Chomsky has warned of the right turn of the Democratic Party, which has, in an effort to win elections, adopted large swaths of the Republican platform and abandoned the form of liberalism that gave us the New Deal and, later, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

Trump has been viewed with bewilderment by politicians who have divorced themselves from the needs of the people and who have sold them false goods to get ahead. But Trump, as Chomsky’s prescient interview demonstrates, was inevitable.

This new approach was canonized by Bill Clinton, who triumphantly declared that the “era of big government is over.”

With this declaration, Clinton ushered in a new era of the Democratic Party (the so-called New Democrats), which left behind the working class and cultivated amiable relationships with corporate executives and Wall Street financiers; many of them would eventually occupy key positions in Clinton’s government, and many of them emerged once more during the presidency of Barack Obama….

Democrats, in short, have left the working class in the dust, often using “the excuse,” as a recent New York Times editorial put it, “that they need big-money backers to succeed.”

Republicans, meanwhile, as Chomsky has observed, are “dedicated with utter servility” to the interests of the wealthy, and their party, with its longing for war and denial of climate science, “is a danger to the human species.”

So we are faced with a political system largely devoted to the needs of organized wealth, which leaves working people anxious, worried about the future, and, as we have seen, very angry. In essence, political elites — on both sides — have created a vacuum into which a charismatic and loudmouthed demagogue can emerge.”

– Jake Johnson, Common Dreams


It is a very positive development that the subject of fascism has now re-entered the public discourse, because, as I have been saying for a long time, that is the direction we are being led — or driven, like cattle down a cattle chute — as the corporate elite and their political minions continue to wage a war on democracy and constitutional law, and to build a police state to protect and consolidate their power in the face of a deep and ever-growing crisis of legitimacy and rising populist movements world-wide. This is the underlying context which we must bear in mind, or else be completely lost and bewildered.

The people are beginning to awaken to the real threats and dangers at hand — and they are at home, not abroad. But the hour is very late.

However, the story continues to unfold. And we should remember, history is not just for reading: it is also for writing — meaning, we do not need to content ourselves with watching history unfold, but should instead, ourselves engage in the making of it.

Whatever happens with Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, he has already accomplished at least four extremely important things. He will be the next president, against the apparent odds, I do believe; but whatever the outcome of this election, much has been accomplished already, much more needs to be done — and much more is at hand, and will be done.

But let’s start with what has already been accomplished so far, and in a very short time, in less than a year. Firstly, Bernie Sanders has excited and engaged millions of people, not just in the US, but across the Western world, many of whom were previously cynical, quietly despairing, apathetic and disengaged. Second, he has injected the rhetoric, the language, and more importantly, the reality of populist politics into the political culture in the US and across the Western world. Third, he has injected the question of class, which is not the sole question, but is the central question, into the political culture in the US and across the Western world. And fourth, and perhaps most importantly, he has successfully injected a very considerable and growing class consciousness into the political culture of the US and the entire Western world. These are tremendous accomplishments, and accomplishments of great and profound, far-reaching significance, and also, tremendous potential.

Having said that, this is not the time for backing off, much less for giving up. This is not the time to bow out, concede defeat, and quietly return to our arm chairs to collectively congratulate ourselves and pat ourselves on the back, or to mourn and lick our wounds. This is the time to press forward, and to carry this new wave of populism to its furthest potential.


Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent the establishment. They represent Wall Street and the corporate elite. We should be perfectly clear about that. The corporate elite have backed Hillary as their anointed, chosen candidate, and the corporate media is doing everything it can to present her in the best possible light, and to present her as the inevitable winner. But she is quite literally guilty of war crimes, her record in terms of loyalty to Wall Street and the military-industrial complex is clear, and it is damning, and beyond that, in every match-up poll that has been conducted it has been made clear that she would lose to Donald Trump, whereas Bernie Sanders would win against him by a wide margin. So if we want power restored to the people, and the power of Wall Street and big money removed from politics, as most people now want, and realize is vitally essential, we cannot support either Clinton or Trump. Or, even if we simply want to ensure that Trump loses, we cannot support Hillary, but must instead support Bernie, because that is the best way to ensure that Trump does not become the next president.

As has been said, and should be perfectly clear, Hillary is basically a neocon in drag as a populist progressive — Bernie is an actual populist progressive: that is the central difference. 64% of the American people do not trust Hillary Clinton — about the same percentage, almost exactly, as those who do not trust Trump — and with good reason; and the more that people find out about Hillary, the less they trust her. Remember also, she has a negative approval rating, and is under investigation by the FBI.

No US presidential candidate in history has won the election with a negative approval rating, or while under investigation by the FBI. Hillary has both going against her, and could be indicted by the FBI any day. Does the Democratic party really want to endorse a presidential candidate that is under investigation by the FBI? She may be the darling of the establishment, but that would still seem to be a very reckless and ill-considered move, to say the least.

Hillary has proven herself to be a staunch racist, classist, loyal servant of the elite, and a right-winger who pushed for more prisons, harsher sentences, cuts to welfare and the end of federal support for the poor, the deregulation of Wall Street, wars and coups abroad. And she now presents herself as a populist progressive. Ahis is slithery Shillery Clinton, the arch-deacon of the establishment and elite rule.

The corporate media are portraying Hillary, not only as the inevitable winner — which is anything but assured; but the media are also portraying Hillary as the candidate with experience. Well, let’s look at that experience.

Hillary in the 1990’s argued for more prisons, tougher prison sentences, and “bringing to heel” the urban black youth, who she called “super-predators.” Hillary supported her husband’s deregulation of Wall Street in the 1990’s. Hillary supported the massive bailouts to the “too big to fail” banks. Hillary voted for the Patriot Act, which shredded the Constitution, civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. Hillary has supported illegal wiretapping and the surveillance state. Hillary has been a civil liberties catastrophe. Hillary has received millions of dollars for speaking engagements to the big banks, the transcripts of which she refuses to released; and has received many millions more from Wall Street for her election campaign: and in return, she has defended Wall Street and the banking elite from any proposals to seriously reign them in, or to break up the “too big to fails”. And to repeat an essential point, Hillary is guilty, furthermore, of war crimes.

In an interview with Bill Maher, a well-meaning and good-natured, but clearly naive MSNBC journalist asked Bill Maher, rhetorically, “Would you really want Bernie Sanders stepping off Air Force One?” Bill Maher, after a moment of dumbfounded shock and incredulity on his face, replied, “Fuck yes. Anyone who got it right on Iraq, I want that person in the Oval Office.”

What Bill Maher should have added was this.

Look at Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy record, and her “experience” with foreign policy. She was head of the State Department during a State Department / CIA coup in Kieve, a very botched as well as illegal regime change, which sent the country into civil war and chaos, and put literal neo-Nazis into power in Ukraine. She was instrumental in a coup in Honduras. And she was also instrumental in the regime change in Libya, which destroyed that country, and left it in the hands of Al Queda, and in the process, spawning ISIS and the bloodbath that has spilled over into Syria.

Hillary has been a walking disaster in terms of both foreign and domestic policy. This person should be kept as far away from the levers of power as possible. She should be tried for war crimes, and in a just society, she would be. She should maybe be given a rubber room, considering her maniacal and sadistic laughter at the public murder of Gaddafi by sodomy with a knife, but she should most definitely be kept as far from the levers of power as is humanly possible. Bernie Sanders, who had the foresight to recognize that an invasion of Iraq would be a disaster, could scarcely do worse than Hillary has done, and would in all likelihood do infinitely better.

In short, there are no honest, or sane, candidates in the 2016 US presidential election, other than Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. Jill Stein does not have a chance in 2016, though possibly in 2020, or 2024. Bernie, although still a long shot, could still win in this election. Let’s hope he does. Hillary, Trump and the rest of the hawkish, crazed clown posse of the Democratic and Republican establishment would be nothing but a continuation of the on-going, ever-escalating disaster, both foreign and domestic.


As far as electability, we should remember that Bernie Sanders has risen, in less than a year, from being a complete unknown to being a super-star and hero to millions of people — precisely because they agree with his policies: of reigning in Wall Street, getting big money out of politics, bringing health care and affordable higher education to all, seriously tackling the truly ominous environmental issues we face, and creating a more just and equal society.

Hillary has resisted the populist onslaught as well as she has so far, for three simple reasons, and three reasons only: because she is a brand name; because she has the backing of the elite — the backing of the Democratic party establishment and Wall Street; and because the corporate media support her overwhelmingly. But time is on Bernie’s side. The more people learn about Bernie Sanders, his record, and his views and policies, the more they like him and trust him. The opposite is true with Hillary. The more people find out about Hillary, the less they support her. And it is still early. Bernie can still crash her party, and overturn the corporate bandwagon, and he may well do just that.

Again, the mainstream media have been trying to paint Hillary as the inevitable winner and Bernie as the inevitable loser from the very beginning. That is because the mainstream media is controlled by corporate interests — the same corporate interests which have lavishly “donated” to (read, bribed) Hillary and her election campaign, and who have chosen Hillary as their favoured candidate. But Bernie has won in many states, and has won in many states by a landslide, with over 60, 70 or 80% of the vote, and it is Bernie who gets the powerfully energized rallies with 20,000, 30,000, 50,000 people coming out, and Bernie who has raised over six million individual donations — a record in US history — not Hillary.

So, as Public Enemy said, don’t believe the hype. And in any event, as Yogi Berra said, it ain’t over ‘till it’s over.


A presidential candidate who is under investigation by the FBI, and still taken seriously? Now that is a sign of the times. But then again, she’s only taken seriously by the ruling class and their political and media prostitutes, and by the 36% of Americans who trust her — and even that is a rapidly shrinking minority.

Clinton should be facing war crimes trials — she has received a “get out of jail free” card and a white wash by the corporate media and the political establishment, and it is heinous in the extreme, and a sign of the severe corruption and decay of the United States.

Clinton and Trump, both, now have a 20 point net negative favorability. The overwhelming majority of people don’t trust either of them. And, moreover, they are both less favourable to the people, according to recent polls, than root canal, used car salesmen, or head lice. To their credit, they both beat cockroaches, by a small margin, in terms of favorability in polling across the US.

Meanwhile, when people are asked whether they trust Bernie Sanders, the overwhelming majority say yes, they do trust him. The people overwhelmingly do not trust either Clinton or Trump.

And again, in every single poll — over 88 polls so far — Sanders is the far stronger candidate against Trump than Clinton.

Bernie would in all likelihood beat Trump, and beat him by a wide margin. Hillary would likely lose to Trump. That should be an important consideration, and one dealt with soberly, with a clear head and without bias. Democrats who are Hillary supporters should think deeply about this before the party convention, and the final decision as to who will be the presidential candidate: someone who the polls indicate could very well lose to Trump, and likely would; or someone who would almost certainly beat Trump?

Bernie can win the Democratic primary race through a contested convention, when the question is put to the people of who will lead them to the presidential office. He can win, and he most definitely should win, if there is any shred of sanity left in the country. And he has made major strides towards doing just that.

“With the goal of 2026 pledged delegates to achieve as a majority in each primary in mind, the FiveThirtyEight tracking shows that Clinton is indeed ahead, with 108% of her target achieved as opposed to Sanders, who is at 92%. But what the media fails to factor in, is the fact that Sanders has either met or exceeded his targets in seven out of the last eight contests, whilst Clinton has actually lost six out of eight: Sanders has been catching up and there is nothing that suggests that he is about to stop fighting.”

Else Feikje van der Berg, Hillary The Inevitable, May 9, 2012, Medium


It may seem like a tangent or an aside, at first glance, but I will say this, in brief. East and West have met — and sparks are flying as a result. The West can learn a great deal from the East, just as the East can learn from the West. We can all learn from one another. This may seem obvious, but sometimes the obvious is only obvious after it is pointed out. More commonly, what should be obvious is routinely overlooked until it is pointed out. Then everyone says, well yes, that makes perfect sense. And there are at least a couple of points from Eastern thought which bear on our subject and have immediate relevance to our discussion.

There is a Tibetan saying, “Don’t sprint to win the race.” And this is very wise. A closely related saying from Tibet is, “Don’t be sporadic.” And I would add to that a central piece of wisdom from Taoism, which says, basically, don’t rush, and don’t hesitate.

What does this have to do with contemporary politics or the Bernie Sanders campaign? Everything.

If Bernie Sanders does win, and does become the next president of the United States — which may seem unlikely at present, but is still entirely possible — then that will be just one further step towards real, positive social change. The movement will go on. The revolution will go on. And the central task of restoring and renewing democracy, civil liberties and the rule of constitutional law, and the returning of power to the people, will have only just begun. We need more than a fleeting burst of energy or enthusiasm if we are going to win the kinds of changes which are urgently needed. Whether we have short term success or short term failure, the movement must go on.

If Bernie Sanders does not win, and does not become the next president of the United States, then the movement will also go on, the revolution will go on, and the central task, the central challenge of our time, which is the renewal of democracy, the reclaiming of power by the people, and the removal from power of the corporate oligarchy and the Wall Street business elite, will continue to move forward, and must continue to move forward.

The changes that are needed will not occur overnight. We must, as the Dalai Lama said, keep a long term perspective. With or without a Sanders presidency, major changes must happen soon, and essentially immediately, or we will simply terminate ourselves as a species. So we cannot hesitate. At the same time, we must remember that this will take longer than a few days, a few weeks, or a few months, to complete the process of transformation that must occur for human beings to survive the 21st century.

We can and must be bold. And we must also keep the longer term perspective in mind. No matter what happens, we must not stop. The future of the world, and all living beings who live on it, including nearly seven billion human beings, depends on what we do, or fail to do, over the course of the next few years.

We cannot give up, we cannot surrender, and we cannot give in. Whatever happens over the next few months and beyond, we must move forward, and we must carry on with the urgent work of creating a better, more just, more equitable, more peaceful society, and a truly sustainable world.

We will not go out with either a bang or a whimper — if we are determined enough to persevere, and to be bold when boldness is required. There is a popular revolution which is emerging now: a non-violent, peaceful revolution, a grassroots movement of the people to take their power back, and to reclaim their power, and in so doing, to create a more just society, and a better world. In this task we must not falter, and we must go on. The rising tide is with us. Now, we must ride that tide to victory, in whatever way that history, boldness and ingenuity make that possible.


Whether Bernie Sanders wins of loses in the 2016 US presidential race is not the central question, nor should it be the central goal. The central question is whether the populist uprising and the grassroots political revolution which is emerging, continues after the election, or sputters and fizzles out. The central question is whether the people have been aroused and engaged sufficiently to carry the revolution forward, no matter what happens in the up-coming US election. And the central goal is, and must be, nothing short of a revolution. On this point, we must be absolutely clear, and absolutely steadfast.

Remember, Bernie is not the movement. Bernie is not the revolution. Bernie is one leading figure among many in a rapidly emerging populist movement which aims to restore power to the people. And that movement will carry on, whatever happens in this election.

I hope the election will end in a Bernie Sanders presidency. That may be a long shot, but he has come a tremendous way, against overwhelming odds, and it’s still early. But whatever happens, the movement of the people to restore democracy and reclaim their power, and to create a more just and equal society, must continue.

We should, I think, at this point once again, crystallize our goals, so that we will remain focused and strong, and keep building momentum. I am not speaking for the Bernie Sanders campaign here. I am simply stating what I think needs to be done, as a minimum, to begin to restore power to the people, and to begin to dethrone Wall Street and the corporate elite, who have acquired and usurped far too much power — over the economy, the financial system, the media, the culture, and also the political process and the government. Without these two central tasks accomplished, or at least begun in a serious and vigorous way — which is, the restoring of power to the people and the dethroning of the corporate elite — nothing is possible, or at least nothing positive or significant, and the downward slide will only continue.

1. We must remove big money from politics. And that means overturning Citizen’s United, and banning private “donations” (more honestly called bribes) to political candidates, politicians and political parties, and making elections publicly funded.

2. We must make the banks and the financial system accountable to the people, and regulated and controlled by the people, rather than leaving the people accountable to the banks, and effectively ruled and controlled by the banks, and the banking elite who own them. To do this, we must break up the big banks, make the Federal Reserve a public bank controlled by Congress, as the Constitution explicitly stipulates and requires, and regulate and reign in Wall Street.

3. We must reject the TPP, and reject any other “trade deal” which in reality is a corporate rights deal, and which grants sweeping powers to large corporations and the business elite who control them, at the expense of the other 99.9% of the people, along with the planet, democracy, and constitutional law.

4. We must take bold and unhesitating action on climate change and the environment, and tax pollution; and reduce taxes on the middle class and the poor, along with small business, while increasing them for the rich and the large, profitable corporations — thus addressing our grave and rapidly escalating environmental crisis, while seriously addressing the deep and growing problem of increasing and extreme inequality in our society.

5. We must end the disastrous, murderous, illegal, supremely unethical, and bankrupting wars abroad, and redirect the personnel, and the hundreds of billions of dollars a year in savings, to human needs, and to the rebuilding of a crumbling infrastructure, economy and society; and put the people, not corporate profits or wars for oil and other resources, first.

If we want to fight terrorism, we should start with the greatest terrorists — the economic and financial terrorists on Wall Street, who are wreaking havoc and destruction globally, and are eating the people and the planet alive.

6. We must overturn the Patriot Act, and any and all legislation which is unconstitutional or which undermines democracy, freedom, civil liberties or constitutional law; and, at this point, considering how far things have progressed, or degenerated, towards a police state, we must formally re-instate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which have been trampled and very nearly destroyed.

If we do not do these six things, as a start, then we can forget about having a democracy, or a republic, we can forget about freedom or civil liberties, we can forget about social justice or the environment, or even the survival of the human species, and we can welcome in a brave new world of neo-feudal, crypto-fascist, global corporate rule, leading rapidly to a new dark age, and the death of humankind.

Our choice should be clear. And our actions must be swift. The time is now. Truly, it is a renaissance or a dark age ahead — and the choice is ours.

J. Todd Ring,

May 2016

Democrats Can Still Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

The Establishment Is WRONG About Hillary’s Chances

Polls: Trump Closing In On Hillary

Why the Superdelegates Need To Switch To Bernie Sanders Immediately

“She’s Baldly Lying”:
Dana Frank Responds to Hillary Clinton’s Defence of Her Role in Honduras Coup


Noam Chomsky Predicted the Rise of Trump Six Years Ago

Noam Chomsky: Bernie Sanders Is Not A Radical

Hillary The Inevitable

Bernie Sanders Calls For Contested Caucus — National Press Club

The Death of the Democratic Party, J. Todd Ring, Medium

The Death of the Democratic Party

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2016 by jtoddring


Let’s start with some basic facts about Hillary Clinton, the darling of Wall Street and the Democratic party establishment, and why her credibility is both threadbare, and also collapsing. From there, after establishing a basic reality check, we will move on to examine why this stark contrast and contradiction between public sentiment and the Democratic party establishment is leading rapidly toward the collapse, and death, of the Democratic party.

In short, the currently ruling global empire of neo-feudal corporatism is experiencing a profound and growing crisis of legitimacy, which threatens, despite appearances, and despite the seemingly overwhelming power of this newest of empires, to sweep it into the dust bin of history. And at the same time, the political and business elite, their ideology of neoliberalism, and the organizations and institutions which they control, including the Republican and Democratic parties, are also in a severe and growing crisis of legitimacy. Either they will begin to listen to and respect the wishes of the people, or they will soon see their eclipse. This will, of course, be an idea that is met with a scoff by the elite, and their puppets and talking heads in the media and the academy, but it is a fact nevertheless.

64% of people in the United States do not trust Hillary Clinton, and that number is rising daily. The more that people find out about Hillary Clinton, the less they trust her. She has very little credibility remaining, and her credibility continues to plummet. Her own personal crisis of legitimacy grows daily, as does the crisis of legitimacy for the ruling corporate masters whom she serves.

At present, Hillary’s main support comes from middle-aged, middle-class and affluent white women, who delusionally believe that changing the gender of the person in the White House is going to make everything better. But, as many black Americans have come to realize, this is a hollow fantasy, just like the false hope that having a black person in the White House would suddenly change everything. Racism and racial injustice continue to be major, systemic problems in the United States, just as systemic and growing inequality and economic injustice, a permanent state of war, a permanent surveillance system, and a permanent entrenchment of vested interests and the rule of Wall Street, continue to be major, systemic problems in the United States — and having a black president did not change any of that. In fact, from his actions, we can see that Obama has backed the military-industrial-security establishment and Wall Street over the people, leading to further inequality, injustice, militarization of the police, destruction of civil liberties, and expanded wars of empire abroad. The sad fact of the matter, as a growing majority of Americans have come to realize, is that Obama works for Wall Street. And Hillary is no different. That is why her gender is irrelevant. And that is why her support is threadbare, and further collapsing even from its historically unprecedented low levels.

Hillary Clinton already has a negative approval rating. No candidate in US history has ever won election to the presidency with a negative approval rating. And as we have said, the people’s trust in her is not only already at historically low levels, but is falling rapidly.

But let’s look at Hillary’s record, to see if it makes any sense to believe that she would change anything, based on her past actions. And the answer, upon examination of her record, should be perfectly clear to all.

Hillary supported the deregulation of Wall Street under her husband’s presidency.

Hillary supported the multi-trillion dollar bail-out of the “too big to fail” banks, after they crashed the economy, as was fully predictable, thanks to the deregulation of Wall Street which she supported.

Hillary has adamantly opposed breaking up the “too big to fail” banks.

Hillary has personally taken millions of dollars from the big banks for speaking engagements — and she refuses to release the transcripts of those speeches.

Hillary has taken even larger sums, and truly enormous sums of money, from Wall Street and the big banks in the form of “campaign contributions” — which, of course, is simply a euphemism for bribes, because no one in their right mind believes these vast sums of money from Wall Street come without strings attached.

In other words, Hillary has behaved as a dyed-in-the-wool neoliberal, and a loyal servant of the ruling Wall Street corporate elite.

Hillary, in the 1990’s, during a time of rising concerns about crime and violence, did not call for increased public investment in local economies, jobs programs, education, or other means of lifting people out of desperate living conditions — in fact, she supported her husband’s dismantling of federal welfare supports to the poorest of Americans — and instead called for the building of more prisons and tougher prison sentences, saying of the black urban youth, we must “bring them to heel” — calling them “super-predators”, showing her rabid racism, as well as a callous and brutal classism.

Hillary signed the Patriot Act, which quite literally overturned the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and destroyed civil liberties in the United States. And Hillary has supported and defended warrantless wiretapping and surveillance.

In other words, Hillary has behaved like a true neo-con, carrying on the legacy of the Bush-Cheney administration, in their attack on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, democracy and freedom in America, while expanding military adventurism, and imperial warfare abroad — all for the sake of consolidating the power of the ruling corporate elite, and increasing the profits accruing to the ruling elite, of course.

(The difference between neo-conservatives and neoliberals is slight, if any, by the way. The former tend to include systemic racism and a messianic complex, along with the straight-forward class warfare on behalf of the ruling corporate elite, but that is the only real difference, and often neoliberals are steeped in racism and messianic fantasies as well, and they are certainly devoted to an unflagging and vicious class warfare on behalf of their corporate masters.)

Hillary voted in favour of the Iraq war — showing both hawkishness and also a complete lack of foresight.

Hillary has been intimately involved in at least three coups already, as Secretary of State — in Ukraine, Libya and Honduras, and with disastrous results in each country, to say nothing about the violations of international law, or the fact that such actions make her a war criminal.

Hillary has aggressively — and maniacally, psychotically, one would have to add, after viewing the video clips — argued for attacking Iran, a country with economic and military alliances with China and Russia, two nuclear super-powers: a move which would literally risk the outbreak of WWIII.

Hillary has been as hawkish and pro-war as any US politician in recent history, and has gleefully pushed for more and expanded war abroad — even after the Iraq disaster has made it clear that such wars are not only humanitarian disasters, but disasters in virtually every way.

So no, we are not talking about electing Mother Theresa to the White House. We are talking about the possibility of electing the Queen of Chaos, the darling of Wall Street and the military-industrial-security complex to the White House. And anyone who believes she would bring about any change from the status quo, other than possibly getting us into WWIII, is simply delusional, and not dealing with the real world.

This is why Hillary’s credibility is threadbare. This is why 64% of the people in the US do not trust her. This is why Hillary’s already threadbare credibility continues to erode, and to crash through the floor. And this is why independents and the youth in particular do not trust her, and overwhelmingly support Bernie Sanders.

In fact, when you set aside the support from middle-aged, middle-class and affluent Americans — who are a minority, and a shrinking minority — Hillary has extremely little support, and it is not surprising that match-up polls have repeatedly shown that she would lose in a race against Donald Trump.

In repeated match-up polls, Bernie Sanders, by contrast, consistently beats Trump by a wide margin. And such match-up polls have been shown in past elections to be accurate to within 3% of the final vote. So the safe bet, in terms of defeating Trump, is not Hillary, but Bernie, as a number of thoughtful commentators have noted.

A presidential candidate who is under investigation by the FBI, and still taken seriously? Now that is a sign of the times. But then again, she’s only taken seriously by the ruling class and their political and media prostitutes, and by the 36% of Americans who trust her — and even that is a rapidly shrinking minority.

Clinton should be facing war crimes trials — she has gotten a “get out of jail free” card and a white wash by the corporate media and the political establishment, and it is heinous, and a sign of the severe corruption and decay of the United States. (See Democracy Now! on Clinton’s defence of the Honduran coup, which she helped to orchestrate.)

Clinton and Trump both now have a 20 point net negative favourability, the overwhelming majority of people don’t trust either of them, and moreover, they are both less favourable to the people than root canal, used car salesmen and lice, according to the polls. To their credit, they both beat cockroaches, by a small margin, in terms of favourability in polling across the US. Meanwhile, in every single poll — over 88 polls so far — Sanders is the far stronger candidate against Trump than Clinton.


But the central problem for the Democratic party is this. Millennials, or youth between the ages of 18 and 30 years of age, are of course the future of the country, and the future of the Democratic party, if the Democratic party remains relevant, or in existence at all. Millennials just surpassed baby boomers as the biggest voting block in the US. And millennials, the youth, are overwhelmingly opposed to Hillary Clinton, and trust her even less than the general public does. And yet, while the youth are overwhelmingly opposed to Hillary, the Democratic party establishment is overwhelmingly in support of Hillary. And this contradiction is not lost on the youth, who are quite well aware of it — and they are being school in a deep and well-founded skepticism about the Democratic party as a result.

You could almost not imagine a better orchestrated campaign to discredit the Democratic party than the one they are engaged in themselves. Even the Republican far right would be hard-pressed to out-do this demolition job. The party establishment is determined to fastidiously and feverishly support the chosen candidate of Wall Street, even if it costs them the remainder of their already crumbling legitimacy in the eyes of the people.

A crossroads is fast approaching for the Democratic party. If they proceed on their current course, it could well mean the beginning of the end for the party, as its remaining trace of credibility is shattered by their own actions. And one of two sets of events could seal this fate, above all.

Firstly, the party establishment, and most notably, the superdelegates, overwhelmingly favour Hillary over Bernie. But meanwhile, Hillary continues to lose the trust of the people as time passes and people find out more about her, and Bernie continues to gain support at a rapid pace — coming from being an unknown a year ago, to being nearly tied in polls with Hillary, and still gaining ground, virtually daily. And Bernie has taken a number of victories in the popular vote, including several landslide victories over Hillary. If Bernie does win the popular vote, and the superdelegates continue to support Hillary, in contempt of democracy and the people, and in opposition to the popular vote, then a crisis will surely erupt within the Democratic party.

We should note that political parties have died and simply vanished in the past. In the early 1830’s in the US, the Whig party had been dominant for decades. But after their defeat in the 1856 election, they simply vanished, and were gone. The same could happen for the almost completely discredited Democratic party if its party elites continue to back Wall Street and the Wall Street-chosen candidate, over the clearly more popular, and truly populist candidate, who has the greater support of the party base and the people broadly.

The death of the party may seem inconceivable to party loyalists, but they should remember, the attitude of, “Let them eat cake,” has not worked so well in the past. People get quite upset when they are confronted by such all-consuming arrogance, and callous, self-insulating hubris, and revolution often follows.

As I’ve said before, the US is now a powder keg. If peaceful revolution is blocked and made impossible, then, as JFK said, violent revolution may become inevitable. But even short of a violent revolution, which is also quite possible, with the specter of civil war a real and present danger for the country; an implosion and a final, widespread public rejection of the Democratic party is a very real possibility in this decade. And the party elite are driving hard towards exactly that destination and culmination of events.

“It seems to me that both the Democratic party and the Republican party stand a very good chance of doing exactly what the Whigs did in the mid-1800’s, and just going up in a vapour of their own irrelevance.” — James Howard Kunstler

I would agree entirely, and I have have said that before hearing this thought from a long-term veteran analyst of US politics. Both parties are thread-bare in terms of their credibility, and if they continue to support Wall Street and the ruling elite, and continue to disregard the people, it could simply be the end of both of those parties.

I would say this, as a summary of what is happening within the Democratic party in 2016. And I hope that Democrats consider the following statements very carefully. A crisis is about to explode in the Democratic party if the superdelegates back Hillary against their own party base. The party could lose the sliver of public confidence that it has left, and simply implode.

Worse, Trump could win, and probably will win, if the superdelegates back Hillary, as poll after poll shows he is likely to win against Hillary. Will the superdelegates and the party establishment deal with reality, or will they let Trump — a candidate even more to the far right than the neocon hawk and Wall Street cheerleader, Hillary Clinton — take power, while their party’s last remaining shreds of credibility are destroyed? Time will tell, and we will find out very soon.

Let’s hope that sanity prevails. It’s doubtful, but it is entirely possible. Let’s hope the Democratic party wakes up to reality, before reality blows up in its face, and destroys the party, as well as the country.

J. Todd Ring,

May 12, 2016

Democrats Can Still Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

The Establishment Is WRONG About Hillary’s Chances

Polls: Trump Closing In On Hillary

Why the Superdelegates Need To Switch To Bernie Sanders Immediately

She’s Baldly Lying”:
Dana Frank Responds to Hillary Clinton’s Defense of Her Role in Honduras Coup


Noam Chomsky Predicted the Rise of Trump Six Years Ago

Noam Chomsky: Bernie Sanders Is Not A Radical

Hillary The Inevitable

Bernie Sanders Calls For Contested Caucus — National Press Club


In or Out? Democracy, the EU, and the Fate of the Earth

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2016 by jtoddring

The people of Britain have now voted to leave the EU. That vote has deeper and more far-ranging consequences than many people realize. Among other things, it means the beginning of the dissolution and death of the EU. And I would say that is a very good thing, for the reasons I’ve outlined here.

The following article was written, in the main, before the British vote on whether or not to remain in the EU. Now that the people have chosen, the issue becomes even more relevant, because the viability of the EU, and the desirability of any nation remaining in the EU, has come even more into question. This is only the beginning of the debate, and far from the end. And no, it is not about racism or xenophobia, at least for any sane person — it is about democracy and sovereignty, versus rule by the ECB and the banks, which is what the EU now represents.

Europe has nearly a billion people within it. And of course, Europe is also a major economic, military and cultural super-power. Europe and North America, to state the obvious, represent the major centres of the Western empire, just as Russia and China represent the major centres of what can be called the Eastern empire. What happens in any of these four world-dominant regions is therefore deeply significant, and has profound influence, and profound impacts, for the entire world. We should, therefore, be awake to what is going on in Europe and the other major centres of world power. Otherwise, we are simply sleep-walking into disaster.


The impulses towards independence, freedom, sovereignty, authentic democracy and self-determination are wise as well as entirely legitimate. Calling such impulses nativism, as is happening, simply clouds the issues. We must separate out the issues of racism and xenophobia, which are thoroughly disgusting and which have no place in any informed or intelligent discussion, from the issue of freedom and democracy, versus corporate rule, excessive centralization of powers, or oligarchy. If we cannot do that, then we cannot talk intelligently about what is happening in Europe, or anywhere for that matter.

Nativism is a term being thrown about because the term nationalism is too dangerous now. Nationalism might invoke thoughts of sovereignty, self-determination, democracy, freedom or independence, and these are rightly viewed by the majority of people world-wide as good things. So the term nationalism has been dropped, in favour of the more emotionally charged term of nativism, which invokes thoughts of racism, xenophobia, and a narrow and ignorant parochialism. But such talk and such jingoism simply skirts the issues of freedom, sovereignty and democracy, which remain the central issues, and it clouds the issues in very real, and severe ways.

The troika’s actions in Greece, and especially in Italy, where the ECB and the bankers essentially staged a coup, overthrew and removed a democratically elected government, and replaced it with an appointed government of banking elites, show that the EU is no longer democratic in any remote definition of the term, but has been taken over by the ECB and the banking elite, as Gerald Celente and others have said. That being considered, I would say that staying in the EU is absolute insanity. Unless you wish to be ruled by the European Central Bank and Goldman Sachs, you must oppose the EU, and seek to leave it, and now. And that has nothing to do with racism or xenophobia, and everything to do with democracy.

There is, clearly and undeniably, a slow-motion global corporate coup which is underway, a fact which of course is well-known to many people. And the global corporate coup is gaining momentum, and is accelerating. In short, the business elite want to own and rule the world. This is nothing new. We have seen this kind of infantile grandiosity, unfettered greed, egomania and power-lust many times before. But it is no less dangerous simply because it is not new.

The EU, the ECB and the IMF, or the troika, as they are called, have become, or have long been, instruments of the on-going corporate coup. This must be recognized, clearly, and unflinchingly. They are no more democratic than Goldman Sachs is democratic. These are institutions of pyramidal, elite control, and elite rule. They are institutions, not of freedom, equality, solidarity and democracy, but of oligarchy, plutocracy, and corporate neo-feudalism.

The same is true, of course, with regards to many other major organizations, agreements and centres of power in the world today: almost all of the biggest ones have become, or have long been, instruments of elite rule, and instruments of corporate power — and instruments of the unfolding corporate take-over of the world. These include the privately owned US Federal Reserve, the private central banks of most nations, the BIS, which is the central bankers’ central bank, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the SPP, and the so-called trade agreements, which are in truth corporate rights agreements, including the TTP, TTIP, CETA and NAFTA. And of course, the neoliberal ideology and agenda (or propaganda narrative, as it more accurately should be described) props them all up and underpins them all. All of these instruments of the rising neo-feudal, rabidly anti-democratic, and truly, crypto-fascist global corporate take-over, and de facto corporate rule, must be questioned, challenged, resisted, seen for what they are, and thoroughly rejected and defeated. And this includes the EU.

Over two hundred years ago, in 1812, Thomas Jefferson warned of the rising powers of the corporations, and what he called, “the new moneyed aristocracy” which controls them. He said, “I hope we shall crush the new moneyed aristocracy in its infancy, for already it bids defiance to our laws, and seeks a contest of strength with our democratic government.” We failed to listen then, and we have failed to listen since, and we are reaping the dark rewards.

The moneyed aristocracy have taken over, the war on democracy and freedom is almost won — meaning, the people lose, and the oligarchy wins — and we are now entering a new feudal age, where the banking and other corporate elites control and rule the world. And yet, the obvious truth of this fact is still dismissed, marginalized, minimized or overlooked, while we focus on secondary and derivative issues. This is the central issue of our time: freedom and democracy are being systematically destroyed by a slow-motion global corporate coup. And yet, we are asleep at the wheel, while heading for disaster. Worse, we are not even at the wheel. We are allowing the corporate elite and their political prostitutes to drive us into a new dark age, and into extinction, while we yawn, or bicker over what are, by comparison, distractions.

As the leading Canadian environmental scientist, David Suzuki has said, “We’re racing toward a brick wall at a hundred miles an hour, and everyone is arguing over where they’re going to sit.”

What we need to be doing, above all, is to change course, and the most central and urgent course correction that must be made, if human beings are to survive, is for us to halt and reverse the global corporate coup which is undeniably taking place right now, as we speak. And to do that, we must strengthen, at least temporarily, the nation-state and national democracies, as Chomsky has also said, along with the democratic process at the level of the province or state, and at the level of local municipal governments. The EU, like the SPP, the IMF, the BIS, the WEF and the corporate rights agreements, run precisely counter to these most central and urgent tasks and goals, and so, must be opposed and rejected.

Above all, we need to restore power to the people, not remove it further from their hands. We need to halt the greatly excessive concentration and over-centralization of power, not aid and abet and further it.

(As an important aside, it should be noted, for libertarians and anarchists in particular — and I would, with some qualifications and reservations, count myself among the latter, along with Chomsky, Thoreau, Bertrand Russell, Bookchin, Kropotkin, Huxley, Orwell and many others: we must accept that it is now critical to support at least a temporary strengthening and defence of national democracies and the nation-state, as Chomsky has also said; because if we do not, the result will not be freedom, but simply tyranny and empire of a new kind, and a de facto global government, as the business press has called it, of the global corporate empire and its institutions. If these facts are not perfectly clear, then frankly, we are not dealing with the real world, and we should leave all discussion about politics or social issues to people who do not live in a cloud, but who have their feet firmly planted on the earth.)

The central pattern, or essential nature of the new global corporate empire, is five-fold. It represents a further hyper-concentration of wealth and power in the world, far beyond anything we have ever seen in recorded history. It represents the inevitable corollary of staggering and truly astronomical inequality. It represents a war on democracy, freedom and constitutional rule, and the replacement of democracy, freedom and constitutional law with oligarchy and neo-feudalism. It represents an increasingly violent militarism and a deeply Orwellian global surveillance state, since the overwhelming majority of the people world-wide are suffering immensely from the corporate empire, and oppose it, and so, must be forcibly restrained from overthrowing it. And it represents as rapacious looting and pillaging of humanity and the earth, which is driving us rapidly into a dark age and into extinction. And all of these central features of the new corporate empire, and all of these trends, are accelerating. This is the central thrust of human civilization, if you can call it that, at this time, and it must be firmly addressed, and now.

We need to oppose and reject the instruments of corporate power which are furthering the hyper-concentration of power in society and the on-going global corporate coup. And the major instruments of corporate power and global corporate rule now include (1) the EU, the SPP, the IMF, the World Bank, the BIS, the Fed and WEF — which are the major institutions of global corporate rule; (2) the military-industrial-security complex, which acts as the armed guard of the global corporate empire; (3) the great majority of the media, which is the empire’s primary propaganda division; (4) neoliberalism, which is the ideology, agenda, and propaganda narrative of global corporate rule; and (5) the corporate rights agreements such as the CETA, NAFTA, TTIP and the TTP, which provide the anti-democratic, unconstitutional, and illegal, legal framework for the global corporate empire, and which give corporations powers over and above democratic governments, and essentially render democratic government null and void, or eviscerated and destroyed. These are the simple facts of the matter, and we must be clear about them. We cannot afford to be distracted or muddy in our thinking, or we are lost.


The activist group, Avaaz, recently involved itself in the question of whether Britain should leave or remain in the EU. And I have never seen a worse muddying of the issues. Avaaz framed the issue as a question of xenophobia versus love — if you favour love, then you will vote to remain in the EU, but if you want to leave the EU, then you must of course be xenophobic. Not only is this a radical oversimplification of the issues, but it is thoroughly misleading, and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality. It is appalling behaviour for an organization that claims to be one of the world’s leading activist groups, or even, ridiculously, the leading activist group in the world.

There are good reasons, and very valid reasons, for wanting to leave the EU, and none of them have anything to do with racism or xenophobia. Moreover, just because some people who are xenophobic have argued for leaving the EU, does not mean that any person who wants an exit from the EU must therefore be xenophobic, or that if we are we not xenophobic, we must therefore wish to remain in the EU. An eight year old can understand such distinctions. And we should too.

We must separate out the issues of racism and xenophobia from the issues of democracy and freedom. The EU is now antithetical to democracy and freedom, and has proven that it is in fierce opposition to democracy and freedom, as its actions in Italy and Greece have proven beyond any shadow of a doubt. To remain in the EU, considering these undeniable facts, would, for this reason, be foolish in the extreme. And that has nothing to do with xenophobia.

Donald Trump apparently favours Britain leaving the EU, and therefore, much of the left feels compelled to take the opposite position of Trump, out of a knee-jerk reaction. But such reactionary tendencies are infantile, and foolish in the extreme. The left is general clueless, and only slightly less so than the right, so we should have no concern for what the left thinks about anything. Following the crowd is for pre-pubescent school children, not for thoughtful adults. And a narrow-minded thinking that presumes guilt by association is equally foolish. We must judge issues on a case by case basis, and not simply follow this camp or that, follow the herd, or form our opinions based on reactionary thinking.

Just because some orange-haired, racist and xenophobic buffoon takes on a certain position, does not mean that we must automatically take the opposite position. Sometimes even morons get it right, even if they get it right for the wrong reasons. Trump is right in calling for Britain to leave the EU — he is just wrong about the reasons why Britain should leave. Democracy, freedom, sovereignty and self-determination are the valid reasons to leave the EU. And even though Trump is a fool, he is right in calling for an exit. And to call for an exit from the EU does not mean, to belabour what should be an obvious point, that one is therefore, by necessity, either xenophobic, or a supporter of right wing crackpots like Trump.

I’m not sure how much more clearly it can be spelled out. The issue of the EU and whether to remain in or to leave it, seems to have become so clouded by dim-witted reactionary gibberish — from the left as well as the right — that it is difficult to clear away the fog. But we must try. And as I have said, this is merely the beginning of the debate on the nature, viability, and desirability of the EU, and not by any means the end.


When the European Union was first tabled publicly as an idea, as a proposal, I followed the debate about it to some extent, and reflected on it deeply. And I concluded then, that the European Union would be an over-centralization of power, and the result would be an undermining of both freedom and democracy. And that is exactly what the EU has proven to be. Now, with the ECB, the banking elite and the troika clearly in charge, the EU has proven beyond all doubt that it has no allegiance to either freedom or to democracy, but only to the interests of the ruling corporate elite, and in particular, to the banking elite. To be unaware of these facts, or to deny them, minimize or gloss over them, is the height of foolishness; and it is a very dangerous, as well as irresponsible and dismal state for one to be in, at that.

When power in society is highly concentrated and centralized, then freedom, democracy, and the self-determination of the people, the ability of people to shape their own lives and choose their own destiny, become hollow, meaningless, and lost, as oligarchy, empire and elite rule replace democracy, freedom, and a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Therefore, if we value freedom or democracy, we should oppose all forms of excessive centralization or concentration of power in society, because that is antithetical to both freedom and democracy. This should be politics 101. These things should not have to be said, but it seems they do.

Chomsky has said that at this point in human history, with an environmental crisis growing rapidly and exponentially, literally ever day, and with the ruling corporate powers blocking all serious change, democracy becomes, not only a value to be preserved, but in all likelihood, a matter of survival. I could not agree more. And we had better realize the fact sooner than later, or we are finished. Whatever is blocking authentic, functioning, constitutional democracy, must be shattered, moved aside, abandoned, rejected, or otherwise overcome, or we are going to see a dark age ahead, followed closely by human extinction. Again, these are the simple facts of the matter, and we had best be perfectly lucid, unflinching, and clear about them.

Thomas Jefferson and Aldous Huxley, two of the most astute political writers I have ever encountered, both said that if we value freedom or democracy — as we should, if we are at all sane — then we must prevent any form of excessive concentration or centralization of power in society, for that surely is the road to tyranny, and the destruction of both freedom and democracy. Yet we have allowed exactly that to happen, slowly, over the past two hundred years since the birth of modern democracy, and in particular, over the past four decades since the birth of neoliberalism and corporate globalization.

And what are the forms of excessive concentration and centralization of power in the world today? Well, the obvious one is the global take-over by big business and the corporate elite. And closely related to that global corporate coup — which we can still reverse, and overturn, if we have the presence of mind and the will, the spine, to do so — are the organizations and agreements which serve to expand and consolidate corporate powers, over and above democracy and the power of the people.

The major forms of excessive concentration and centralization of power in the world today are the organizations and agreements which in general serve the ruling corporate oligarchy, and which in practice, though not in rhetoric, function to expand or to consolidate global corporate powers and global corporate rule, and of course, with the result being the effective death of liberty, democracy and constitutional law. These include the EU, the SPP, the Bank for International Settlements and the private central banks, including the Fed, along with the IMF, the World Economic Forum, and the corporate rights agreements which are being driven down the people’s throats. And all of them should be opposed — must be opposed — if we value either freedom or democracy, as we should.


Liberty, equality, solidarity, and democracy are values worth preserving. Without them, we will have only tyranny, and a hastened rush towards self-destruction and global ecological holocaust. It is not now, liberty or death, in the sense that liberty is precious enough to risk death — but more starkly, liberty or death have become our only alternatives. We need to reflect hard and deeply on this, and now, because we are losing all that we have struggled for, over the past 200-some years since the birth of modern democracy; and worse, we are losing everything we have gained over the past 800 years, since the signing of the Magna Carta. The stakes could not be higher, and ignorance and illusion must be shattered, before we destroy ourselves, as well as our liberty, completely.

While the people of the United States decide which demagogue, corporate puppet or psychopath they will elect as president, or whether, if they are sensible, they will elect a genuine populist, and friend and servant of the people, the people of Europe must contend with one central question above all, and that is, how they will respond to the troika, which represents the new Royal Court, at least for the region, of global neo-feudal corporate rule. The choices, in both cases, I would say are abundantly clear. And there is no time to delay in our response.

June 17, 2016


Neoliberalism is the ideology and agenda of the unfolding global corporate coup, and the de facto, global, neo-feudal corporate rule which is emerging from it. It has to die.

Constitutional democracy may be severely flawed, but oligarchy, or plutocracy, is most definitely far worse. And as Mussolini said himself, corporatism is the proper term for fascism, which is the merger of business and the state — and that is what neoliberalism, and the global corporate empire that it upholds, represents. We should have no illusions about it.

Neoliberalism, in essence, is the ideology of global corporate rule — and the corporate globalization which is driving us into a neo-feudal global corporate rule. It must be resisted, opposed, firmly rejected, and relegated to the trash bin of history. It is an ideology which is under attack, under heavy criticism, and which is dying. But it is still dangerous, and it still has the support of the ruling class, which is the billionaire class of the international business elite, and their prostitutes in political office, academia and the media. And it is an ideology which must be killed, before it kills the planet, and all life on it.

Yes, the power elite always want to protect themselves and their interests, and a major component of that is to deflect criticism. That’s why we have the “war on terrorism”, and a state of permanent war, as Orwell understood very well. And the loyal servants to the power elite, such as the corporate media, along with much of the academy, play that role routinely and habitually, slavishly, whether they are conscious of it or not.

We all have both power and responsibility, but clearly, some individuals have more power than others, and thus, a greater responsibility for the crimes and injustice we see in the world.

An example may help to clarify. I think the other role for such a web site as the one recently created by CNN, titled, Slavery Footprint, which is indicative of the problem, is to accustom people to the idea that there are slaves and there are the privileged – and that is perfectly acceptable, we are supposed to believe, or come to accept. It is an assault on compassion, empathy, human solidarity and community, and on all moral sentiments.

A central driving force of the propaganda system, as Chomsky has said, is not just to sow fear and division — following the central maxim of all empires, which is to divide and conquer — and to isolate the people from one another so that they will be disempowered and thus easily controlled; but also, to destroy their sense of compassion, empathy, human sympathy, love and mutual aid, so that no such unity of the people can arise to oppose the imperial powers.

So the ruling power elite, as the great sociologist C. Wright Mills phrased it, who are the global corporate elite, along with their puppets and propagandists in government and the media, promote narcissism, nihilism, materialism, consumerism, vanity, egocentrism and callousness, as well as fear and division, illusion and distraction, demoralization and mass disempowerment of the people.

It is simply an evolution, or devolution, of the ancient imperial strategy: divide and conquer. Dehumanize, demoralize, disempower, distract, delude, and divide the people, and they will be easily manipulated, and the power elite can rule as god-kings. That is the basic game plan, and that is the truly sociopathic thrust of the brave new world of global neo-feudal corporatism under which we now live.


Avaaz does good work. It is also in the wrong at times. This is one case. The EU has been taken over by the ECB and the banking elite, as the banker’s coup in Italy proved, where the banking elite overthrew a democratically elected government and installed a government run by and for bankers, as Gerald Celente has said. To remain in the EU is not an act of love — it is an act of foolishly misreading the situation, and dangerously so.

The banking elite run Britain too, along with the EU and most of the world, but to allow a further continuation of hyper-concentration and over-centralization of power in society is disastrous, and the road to tyranny. The best chance we have to halting the slow-motion global corporate coup is by restoring the powers of constitutional democracy within nation states, and to stop the dissolution of nation-states and national democracies into globalist power blocks, such as NAFTA, the SPP and the EU.

Allowing power to be ever further removed from the hands of the people, through an ever-greater centralization and concentration of power in society, will only aid the infantile, yet extremely dangerous dreams of global empire, which the new corporate elite, like their predecessors, hold dear.

We need to bolster the power of elected constitutional democracies on the level of the nation-state, the provincial or state level, and the level of municipalities and local governments. What we do not need is a further centralization of power. Power is already overly centralized, and already concentrated in too few hands to be either safe or democratic. And a further concentration and centralization of power, as is happening in the EU as well as with the so-called trade deals, is only helping the banking and other corporate elites to further their agenda of global domination and anti-democratic, neo-feudal elite rule.

For these reasons, the EU, as it stands now, which is as an instrument for elite corporate powers — along with the IMF, WEF, BIS, and the corporate rights deals such as CETA, NAFTA, TTIP and the TPP — must be rejected, and abolished.

Solidarity, yes. Cooperation and trade, yes. Openness and friendly relations with all, yes. But, grossly excessive, unaccountable, and undemocratic centralization of powers in the hands of a tiny global elite? No. Absolutely not. Therefore, the EU must go, and the people must reject it.

The Apotheosis, Canonization, and Hagiography of Rob Ford

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 30, 2016 by jtoddring

I feel sympathy for former Toronto mayor Rob Ford and his family, but watching a few minutes of the CBC news coverage of his funeral (it was on in the cafe where I had a coffee, and could not be avoided), I have to think, this man was, by all indications, a person of very questionable character, and a terrible mayor. To hear the CBC gush and fawn over him, and refer to him in hushed and solemn tones as the best mayor Toronto has ever had, makes me wonder if the CBC is on crack.

Rob Ford was a public embarrassment, and an international embarrassment, not just to Toronto, but to all of Canada. Newspapers across the United States and Britain asked, what is going on with Canada? Even Jon Stewart had to ask, what is wrong with Toronto mayor Rob Ford?

Rob Ford joins the ranks of Mike Harris, Stephen Harper and Brian Mulroney, as one of the most widely disliked, mistrusted and disrespected, if not positively loathed, political figures in all of Canadian history. Why is the CBC trying to turn him into some kind of national hero?

It made me think of something Hunter S. Thompson said, after the funeral of Richard Nixon. He said, in his opinion, Nixon should not have been buried with honours, but should have had his body set on fire and thrown into a garbage dumpster. I think that is a terrible thing to say about anyone, no matter how lowly their character had been. Forgiveness and compassion are good and important things. But trying to turn a villain into a saint after their death is grossly irresponsible, and simply not right.

So yes, once again, I have to conclude, the CBC is on crack.

March 30, 2016

Plan B: Here is what Bernie Sanders needs to do if he does not win the primaries — which I certainly hope he does

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2016 by jtoddring

These are the facts. Trump is an orangutan, obsessed with his sausage fingers, and filled with an infantile grandiosity, narcissism and egomania. He is a petty right-wing thug, very much like David Cameron of Britain, but without the British sense of tact or diplomacy. Hillary, meanwhile, is a slick, war-mongering shill for Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. She is much more dangerous than knuckle-brains Trump. Neither one can be supported by any person of conscience, or even common sense.

It is utterly unconscionable to support any of the major candidates, other than Bernie Sanders — including Hillary Clinton. So if — and it is still an if — Bernie does not win the primaries, as I hope he does, then only Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party is acceptable. Only.

Jill Stein would have been an excellent running mate to Bernie, or an equally qualified candidate, or maybe even a better candidate than Bernie. But she had zero chance of winning in 2016. Maybe in 2020 or 2024 she could win, but not in 2016.

But if Bernie does not end up as the candidate, then it is a vote for conscience, even in the face of tactical defeat and a temporary retreat, as the master strategist Sun Tzu advised (but not longer term defeat), and not a vote for the lesser of evils, which must hold sway. And that means that Trump, Cruz, and Shillary “The Hawk” Clinton, are all ruled out.

If we were to look at it from a historical perspective, as we should, then we would instantly recognize that all three represent the extreme right, and are rabidly militarist, elitist, crypto-fascists, and all of them represent the interests of the corporate elite who have taken over the nation and most of the world. None of them are in any way remotely acceptable or supportable as candidates for presidency of the world’s dominant superpower, or for any nation that wishes to be free or democratic. This is the first important point to be made.

Secondly, from what I can see, there is no reason whatsoever to believe that Bernie is out of the running, or that he cannot win. Remember, everyone said Hillary was guaranteed to win in 2008, then this guy named Barack Obama showed up out of nowhere, and won. Long-shots can and do win, and Bernie is closing in.

The corporate media networks are trying hard to minimize and dismiss the facts, because Hillary is corporate America’s chosen candidate — the candidate they want elected, they have anointed, and they have backed with huge sums of Wall Street money. But the facts are indisputable — Sanders won landslide majorities in Hawaii (the least white and most multi-cultural state), Alaska and Washington State, and has cut down Hillary’s lead by a quarter in just those three states. Bernie now has the clear momentum, and is gaining fast.

Bernie has raised more individual contributions than any candidate in US history — over three million, with an average donation of $27. (And has refused Wall Street’s money.) He just won the support of American citizens overseas, with an overwhelming 70% of the vote. He has the overwhelming support of millennials and independents. And he has come from being a complete unknown, less than a year ago, to being a serious challenger to the party establishment’s anointed front-runner.

Bernie started out 70 points behind Hillary, and now, as of March 24, according to Bloomberg polls, Bernie Sanders has taken the lead in national polls over Hillary Clinton — despite her nation-wide name recognition, her enormous head-start, and her enormous sums of Wall Street money backing her campaign, and despite the corporate media favoring her and marginalizing Sanders at every step of the way — with 49% versus 48% of Democratic voters.

Moreover, the more people learn about Hillary Clinton, the more they distrust her. Whereas, the opposite is true for Bernie Sanders — the more people learn about him, the more they trust him and want to support him. Time is most definitely on the side of Bernie Sanders.

Already, 64% of registered voters do not find Hillary honesty or trustworthy. And it is still early in the race.

Remember also, that a) Hillary has a negative approval rating, and b) Hillary is under investigation by the FBI, and c) no candidate in US history has ever become president with a negative approval rating, or while under investigation by the FBI.

Remember too, that the Bush-Cheney cabal destroyed the credibility of the Republican Party, which is really now a zombie party, which only a small percentage of Americans remain willing to vote for.

Bernie Sanders has always been the long-shot, but he is rapidly closing the gap on Hillary in terms of delegates — and he is the only candidate generating enormous excitement among the people, and particularly the youth, the millennials, who just surpassed the baby boomers as the biggest voting block in the country. And again, he is also overwhelmingly favored, not only by the youth, but also by independents, who now outnumber both Democrats and Republicans.

But most essentially, Bernie Sanders still remains the only decent candidate — the only candidate who is not either guilty of war crimes, as Hillary is, or advocating war crimes, as Hillary, Trump and Cruz are all doing; and the only candidate who is seriously taking on Wall Street, and the extreme and growing inequality and corruption which are the biggest issues facing the country.

(See John Pilger for a more sane and informed response to the election than has been given by virtually anyone in either the mainstream or “alternative” media, here. http://www.counterpunch.org/…/trump-and-clinton…/

“A virulent if familiar censorship is about to descend on the US election campaign. As the cartoon brute, Donald Trump, seems almost certain to win the Republican Party’s nomination, Hillary Clinton is being ordained both as the “women’s candidate” and the champion of American liberalism in its heroic struggle with the Evil One.

This is drivel, of course; Hillary Clinton leaves a trail of blood and suffering around the world and a clear record of exploitation and greed in her own country. To say so, however, is becoming intolerable in the land of free speech.”

— John Pilger: Trump and Clinton, Censoring the Unpalatable, CounterPunch, March 29, 2016

Bernie Sanders is still very much in the race, and moreover, according to the latest polls by Reuters, Clinton would lose to Trump, while Sanders would beat Trump by nearly 20%. So if people are concerned about preventing a Trump presidency, then they should be supporting Bernie Sanders, as he is the safest bet to do just that.

It’s easy for most people to see why Trump cannot be supported. But Hillary truly is no better, and arguably, worse. Hillary is a bloodless neoliberal imperialist and war hawk, who can be supported by no person of conscience, under any circumstances. Let’s make that perfectly clear.

But, while Bernie should win, and is the only candidate of conscience, and the only candidate at all supportable by people of conscience, there is a chance, of course, that he might not.

Even if he wins the popular vote, which he most likely will do, he still could be defeated by the DNC stealing the election. And if he wins the popular vote, and the Democratic party elite break ranks with their paymasters on Wall Street, and go against their masters’ wishes, which is to support Hillary, their chosen candidate, at any cost, and they refuse to steal the election and over-ride the popular vote, then there still remains the very real possibility of election fraud, which of course, has happened in recent US history, as everyone knows.

So Bernie may win, or he may lose — and if he loses, it may be through fair means, or through anti-democratic means, or by outright fraudulent means. I do not believe he is going to lose, but that is far from certain. And if he does lose the primaries, what then?

That is an obvious big question for Bernie Sanders, and I am sure he is considering his options carefully. And he must know very well, that if he throws his support behind Hillary Clinton, it will be taken as a profound betrayal by millions of people.

Hillary is rightly perceived by a growing majority of people in the US as a dishonest and unscrupulous servant of Wall Street — and she is. For Bernie to endorse or support her would be viewed by millions of Americans as an act of terrible betrayal, considering all that Bernie has said and spoken for, and all that he believes.

What then, should Bernie do, if he does not win the primaries?

Apparently Bernie Sanders has said he will not run as an independent or under a third party ticket, and that he will throw his support behind Hillary Clinton if he does not win the primaries. This was, of course, a Faustian bargain, to make such statements.

It was likely the only way the DNC would let him enter the race as a Democratic nominee. But it was an all-or-nothing proposition, for if he wins, that is great, but if he loses, then he is forced to endorse a candidate who, frankly, is corrupt, and who represents exactly what is wrong with the country, which is the corruption by big money.

So if Bernie does not win in the primaries, he will be faced with a moral dilemma: he can honor his commitment to endorse Hillary Clinton, and that would be keeping his word; but it would also be supporting truly heinous foreign and domestic policies, which will only further destroy the country, further harm the people, and further undermine democracy, civil liberties, the economy and peace, and quite literally risk a nuclear confrontation with Russia and China, and WWIII. This is what supporting Hillary Clinton means, and we should make no mistake about it.

Or, he can break with his commitment to endorse Hillary, citing Emerson, if he must — that “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”, and it is better to admit a mistake, than to continue in it; and run against Clinton, in a three-way race against both her and Trump — where, I believe, he would beat them both, as the latest polls are continuing to show. (47% of people say they would vote for Sanders, 31% for Trump, and 30% for Clinton, according to recent benchmark Reuters match-up polls.)

It is very much like the classic moral dilemma which Socrates described. You borrow a sword from someone, and promise to give it back. But the person you borrowed it from, you realize, has gone mad. Should you uphold your promise, and give a sword to a madman, or should you break your promise, because it is would be wrong to give a sword to a madman? In Socrates opinion, and I think most people would agree, the right thing to do is to break your promise, because to give a sword to a madman is unconscionable.

Likewise, it is unconscionable to hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton, for that would be to hand it to the war machine, the military-industrial-security complex, and to the Wall Street bankers and corporate elite who are defrauding and destroying the nation, and the better part of the world along with it.

The best answer — if by chance, by fair contest or by DNC manipulations, he loses the primaries — the best response, for the people of the United States, and for the world, since the US is still the dominant super-power in the world, would certainly not be that Bernie Sanders either walks away quietly, or worse, that he throws his support behind Hillary Clinton.

The alternative to either walking away, or betraying millions of people, and his principles, by supporting Hillary, would be to break ranks — not with the people, or with his principles, as he will undoubtedly be pressured to do, and is most certainly being pressured to do now; but to break ranks with the Democratic Party, and to run on a joint ticket with Dr. Jill Stein and the Greens.

Bernie is an independent after all, and merely caucuses with the Democratic party — and the Democratic party establishment, if it does not support him, is not worthy of his support, and has confirmed its corruption by Wall Street money and stubborn intransigence, as well as its deafness to the people and to the times.

This would shock the establishment, but then, who cares? The establishment is entirely corrupt, as the great majority of Americans now know very well. Fuck the establishment. The establishment is destroying the country, raping the poor and the middle class, and devouring the world. They are not the ones who deserve loyalty. They deserve to be removed from power, swiftly and decisively, and not, to be catered to.

Another question to ask is, would Hillary actually endorse Bernie, if Bernie wins the nomination? She is Wall Street’s player — he is Wall Street’s opponent. I seriously doubt that she would lend her weight to his election. But in any event, that is an aside.

The real gist of the matter is this. Bernie Sanders’ loyalty should be with the 99% of the people who need an ally and a fighter in their corner, and not with the Democratic party establishment, nor with the Wall Street business elite who effectively own and control it.

Would Jill Stein agree to having Bernie Sanders as a running mate for the White House? Would Bernie Sanders make such a bold move? We will see. I think it is entirely within the realm of possibility, and I think it would be the most honorable, as well as the most intelligent, thing to do.

If such a partnership were to come to pass, I think there would be no stopping Bernie and Jill, and millions of people would write in their names on their ballots, if need be, to get them elected. Shillery and Drumph, the weasel and the orangutan — the Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum of corporate America — wouldn’t stand a chance.

And for the coup de grace, the dynamic duo of Bernie and Jill should invite Elizabeth Warren to be their Attorney General. Between the three of them, they would secure every progressive vote in the country, as well as the votes of the majority of women of all ages, and the overwhelming support of independents and the youth, who together, make up the bulk of eligible voters in the US today.

It’s a winning ticket. If Plan B needs to be executed, it could not only sweep Bernie Sanders and his team into office, but it would be a body blow to the liberal and conservative establishment alike, and to the Wall Street corporate interests which they both represent. And we have waited quite long enough for that.

I don’t think plan B is going to be necessary, unless the DNC steals the election — which would pretty much destroy the slight remaining credibility of the party, so I think they will think very hard about that before doing the usual acrobatics and slight of hand tricks for the corporate masters. But if plan B is needed, then I think Bernie should most definitely engage it, and the people should support it, fully and vigorously.

America needs to be shaken up, before it falls apart. This team would definitely do that; and Bernie and Jill, and maybe with Elizabeth Warren on side as well, and almost definitely so, would do more than simply shake things up. They would begin to heal this broken country, and put it on a better track.

And that is something we can be certain that neither Clinton, nor Trump, nor Cruz would do. In fact, anyone of the three would most likely spell certain disaster; and at the very least, the continuation of the long, slow bleed of the people and the nation. And that simply cannot be tolerated.

So either way, revolution it is, and revolution it must be.

J. Todd Ring,
March 29, 2016

John Pilger: Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump https://newmatilda.com/…/john-pilger-why-hillary…/ …

Trump and Clinton: Censoring the Unpalatable — John Pilger

The Radicalization of the American Power Elite:From George Bush, to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — J. Todd Ring

Jill Stein Is Open To Collaborating With Bernie Sanders For Presidential Bid

Would President Bernie Offer Hillary A Cabinet Position? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx2vg3ZOZlk

On Terrorism and Imperialism: The “War On Terrorism” Is The War OF Terrorism

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2016 by jtoddring


Exactly. This sums it up completely.

This is exactly what Chomsky and other intelligent and honest observers have been saying. If we want to end terrorism, then we will have to end imperialism. That means we stop trying to control other nations for the sake of geopolitics and imperial interests, such as the control of oil and gas reserves and pipeline routes in the Middle East.

Until we let go of the obsession with controlling the world’s resources, as the US and it’s allies are hell-bent on doing, terrorism will never go away, and in fact, will only increase.

What is it to bomb other countries, and kill hundreds of thousands of people through war, or over a million through economic sanctions? It is state terrorism, and nothing other, as Chomsky has been saying for years. And what is the result of all this killing that is done by the US and its partners in crime? More terrorism, of course. People get angry when you bomb their country, kill their children, destroy their homes, their schools, their hospitals and their nation, and overthrow their government. And some of them turn to terrorism. This is unsurprising, and it is not only predictable, but was predicted, well before the launch of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11, and the official “Global War On Terror”, or GWOT, began.

The intelligence agencies all know this – they just don’t care. The objective of the war on terror has never been to end terrorism, but to create a pretext and a rationalization for permanent imperial war abroad, and a war on democracy, civil liberties and the people’s voices and power at home – all for the sake of corporate power and corporate profits.

The same is true of the war on terror as with the war on drugs. One of the architects of the war on drugs, in 1968, recently admitted in an interview which was just published in Harpers, that the original intent of the “war on drugs” was to target and disrupt “the anti-war left and the blacks.” He stated openly that they knew they were lying about the war on drugs. The war on drugs was never intended to end the drug trade – which the CIA controlled and still controls (both heroine and cocaine) – much less to end drug use. It is a tool for political control. And exactly the same is true of the “war on terror” – which, by the way, like the “war on drugs” is a phrase that should never be used without quotation marks, because it is a lie, a propaganda tool, and not what it appears to be.

But to put it succinctly and in a nutshell, the world is now ruled by a handful of oligarchs, bankers and other business elites, and the giant corporations they control; and for them, war is very profitable and desirable, and controlling the world’s resources through war, or any other means that are expedient, is just a matter of doing business as usual. Until they are removed from power, nothing is going to change.

Dethrone the bankers and the corporate elite, and return the power to the people, where it rightfully belongs, and the world will be transformed in less than a year. Until then, nothing is going to change, and we can expect the world to become increasingly dangerous, unstable and insecure, violent, war-torn, unjust, tyrannical, toxic and polluted, until our civilization collapses, and humankind goes extinct.

So democratic revolution really is a matter of survival now, as I argue in my book, Enlightened Democracy, which I would urge everyone to read.

(It’s on Amazon, here: http://www.amazon.com/Enlightened-Democracy-Millennium-Introductory-Political-Economy/dp/1481074776/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1458869803&sr=8-3&keywords=enlightened+democracy)

And as for democracy and revolution, it had better be soon, or it will be game over for the human race on earth.

This is why I get a little exasperated sometimes – we are running out of time. We need serious action, and much more than we currently are seeing, and now.

Stand up. Speak out. And let the revolution begin. It is that, or it is slow death. Only fantasy presents a third option.

March 24, 2016


Latest Polls:
(From Reuters):
47% of people would vote for Sanders, 32% for Trump, or Drumph, and 30% for “bomb-em-now” Hillary “The-Hawk” Clinton.
So, if there is any trace of democracy left in the US, which admittedly is a very big if, then Sanders will win. He might. He has a strong chance of winning all, or at least most of the Western states, and that changes everything. It’s still very early in the race. The media is corporate owned and corporate controlled, and they want either Trump or Clinton to win, because they won’t ruffle any feathers on Wall Street. So you can’t trust them for information, of course. But the polls speak for themselves.
If there is still some remnant of democracy in the US, Bernie will win. If not, then the system is clearly broken, and it’s time for plan B: which is a grassroots, Gandhian, democratic revolution. This will be a pivotal year one way or another. Either change will begin in earnest through the ballot box, or through the barricades. Either way, change, and real change, is coming. And none too soon.

The Healing Power of Sleep – And How To Get Some

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2016 by jtoddring

What a difference good sleep makes. I‘ve had an ongoing battle with insomnia for over thirty years, and when stress is high, it’s at its worst. Last night was the first decent night’s sleep in a month. What a relief! It’s night and day, so to speak. I’ve had insomnia since I was eighteen. So I can definitely speak about the effects of not sleeping well. And sleep is very important.

We live in a tightly-wound, Puritanical society where a feverish rushing and busyness, getting and spending, consumerism, status-seeking, social climbing and productivism reign; so there is generally a great deal of stress, to put it mildly, and we live in a sea of stress, in a culture which is systematically stressed-out as a routine habit – and not only do our health and quality of life suffer for it, but also, often, sleep does not come easy, even though it is essential to our health, our clarity of mind, and also our ability to get things done.

When we don’t sleep well, or enough, then we are likely to feel tired and have less than optimum energy, the mind is less clear, little stresses hit us harder, big stresses can easily overwhelm us, and even very small stresses can overwhelm us, and it is much harder to be at our best. And on top of that, when we don’t sleep well, or don’t get enough sleep, the body, including the brain, can’t properly regenerate itself, as it naturally does, so our health begins to be strained, and that can lead to other serious problems.

Recent studies have shown that people who get less than six and a half hours sleep a night on a regular basis have significantly higher risk of heart attack. And other studies have confirmed the obvious: that when we don’t sleep well, our memory, concentration, mental functioning and learning ability are all greatly impaired. Mood disorders, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other troubles common to our deeply stress-filled and unbalanced society, can also be greatly aggravated simply by a lack of good sleep. So our body and our mind are both at risk, and not nearly at their best, when we don’t sleep well.

So what can we do for good sleep, since it is very important to our health, our peace of mind, our ability to get things done, and our general feeling of happiness and well-being?

There are a lot of things that help with good sleep, fortunately. For those who have difficulties sleeping, or sleeping well, here are a few that have been shown to be very effective, most of which I’ve tried myself; and for most of them, I can confirm that they most definitely help. And yes, they generally involve something more than taking a pill.


Habits are number one:

A sane society would value, and be structured to promote, health, well-being, and the fulfillment of our highest potential, as well as justice, freedom, peace, culture and the arts, and the life of the mind. We don’t live in such a society. Modern society is frankly insane, as many people are well aware. But while we strive to create a better world, and a wiser, and more sane society, we can move our own lives in a positive direction. And among the habits we should cultivate in order to do that, and as a result, live with greater peace, health, happiness, fulfillment, and better sleep, are these:

Avoid worry, hurry, blame, resentment, self-recrimination, or dwelling on the past or the future.

Abandon all notions of control and powerlessness – they are both illusions, and they will only bring pain, suffering, stress, and sleepless nights. We always have power. We never have control.

Do the things that are important to you, and don’t put them off – take big leaps, or take baby steps if necessary, but move forward toward your goals and dreams, every day.

Make space every day for quiet, solitude, nature, stillness and reflection.

Rejoice in every victory, be it yours or another’s, no matter how small.

Laugh a lot, and keep a sense of humour, as well as a sense of perspective.

Eat well, and take good care of your health.

Forgive everything and everyone – including yourself.

Do your best, and at the end of the day and all day be at peace with that.

Forget about what other people may think or say – it doesn’t matter. Just be yourself, and be at peace.

Practice gratitude and appreciation.

Take delight in small joys and little things – like a sunrise, or a cup of tea, a flower, or a smile, or a piece of your favourite music.

Cultivate patience. Without patience, little of significance can be accomplished, and much stress and frustration can result. With patience, everything is possible.

Get lots of sunlight and fresh air every day.

Learn to love cooking, and cook wholesome, nourishing foods for you and your family – and take your time cooking, without rush, and enjoy the process, as well as the meal.

Chew your food. This seems simple, maybe even silly, but it is far more important than most people imagine. More broadly, we should take good care of our digestion, because if our digestion is off, if it is poor, and whether or not we know that it is poor, then we will be malnourished no matter how much we eat, or how healthy our diet is, because we are not properly digesting our food, and not properly assimilating the nutrients in our food. So digestion is extremely important. And if our digestion is poor, not only will we be malnourished, and our general health will suffer, and our susceptibility to disease will be high, but our mood, energy, and also our sleep, will suffer for it. So chew your food. Eat slowly. Never watch, read or talk about stressful things during or after meals if you can possibly help it. And eat lots of foods that aid digestion: sauerkraut, pickles, pickled beets and pickled eggs, yogurt, buttermilk, kimchi and kefir, bananas, basil, mint and pesto are a few to include in your diet. Longevity studies repeatedly show that people who regularly eat fermented and digestion-aiding foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut live the longest lives. And it’s not just about living long, of course, but living well. So chew your food! And learn to love pickles! 🙂

Consider taking up gardening. Spending time with green life and plants, caring for plants and working with the soil, is deeply therapeutic, and deeply relaxing, and it will definitely improve sleep as well.

Take regular saunas, sweats or steam baths.

Try meditation. Everyone is capable of doing it, unless they are in a coma, and even just 10 minutes a day of simple meditation on the breath has been shown to have tremendous benefits for health and peace of mind.

Do yoga – 10 minutes to an hour a day (I have difficulty with that one, I must admit) plus one class or more a week. It is life-changing. Only meditation and saunas bring this depth of relaxation and peace as yoga gives. And yes, everyone who is not in a coma can do it. (Modify the practices as needed, and do only the ones you can do comfortably as a start.)

Get lots of exercise of some kind or another on a regular basis – on a daily basis.

Keep your bedroom dark when you sleep – get black-out curtains that block all light, don’t keep any lights on in the room or even in the hall, and maybe try a sleep mask.

Try ear plugs or white noise – a humidifier, air cleaner or fan, or best, a fountain – to help you sleep and to block out noise.

If your partner snores, try ear plugs, white noise, Breathe-Right Strips, a jaw strap for snoring (I have read these work well and are surprisingly comfortable) and/or a sleep clinic for both of you. (Testing at a sleep clinic for sleep apnea may be a good idea if you’ve had sleep problems for a long time, or if you snore or your partner snores, since sleep apnea is very common, and it disturbs sleep, as well as having negative effects on the mind, mood and health.)

Don’t read, work or watch TV in the room where you sleep.

Don’t read, watch or talk about stressful things after 9pm – or after dinner prep starts, if you have serious troubles with sleep.

Do your day-planning during the day – don’t think about schedules or things you have to do tomorrow or in the near future, in the evening before bed: that’s a sure way to have a sleepless night, if you’re prone to that.

Keep regular sleep times as much as possible.

Try to follow the rhythms of the sun and sleep close to the times of darkness, between 9pm and 5am, as much as possible – yes, we are a part of nature, and our sleep cycles still work best when we follow nature’s rhythms (and few of us are true nocturns, by nature, but only by habit).

The ideal sleep cycle for most people, for optimal health and well-being, is to be asleep by 10pm, and to get up at 6am, or 5am; and if need be, take a nap or siesta in the early afternoon. This is not always possible, but we should approximate this sleep cycle as closely as we can.

Naps or siestas are very healthy – and we should not feel guilty about taking them. In fact, we should incorporate them into our lives and our culture. They have been shown to improve energy, mood, mental clarity, productivity, creativity, and general mental and physical performance. If we take 20-30 minutes for a nap, chances are that afterward we will not only feel better, but will get more done than if we hadn’t taken time for a short rest. The more sensible businesses and workplaces already incorporate and allow naps. That may be shocking to some, but it simply works, both in terms of human health, and also in terms of increased productivity, creativity and innovation, as well as employee job satisfaction, employee retention, and lower stress and sick leave. A half hour nap can be very regenerating; or a 90 minute nap can give a full sleep cycle, and deep rest and regeneration. Just remember to keep naps to before 3pm if they are longer than 20-30 minutes, or you may interfere with sleep later that night.

If you can’t sleep after half an hour of laying in bed, get up, leave the room, and go do something very relaxing: like some light reading – emphasis on light; or watch something relaxing; or take a hot bath; listen to some soothing music; do some very gentle yoga; or go for a walk; or have a cup of herbal tea with honey – preferably an herbal tea that will help with sleep, and there are many of them to choose from.

Make sure your home and your bedroom get lots of fresh air.

Keep your living space clean, tidy, uncluttered, harmonious and peaceful, as much as possible.

Learn to love plants, and surround yourself with green.

Natural health care for good sleep:

Try to stick to a plant-based diet high in protein (pulses, legumes, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds), fibre, essential oils, enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Drink lots of clean (non-bottled) water – eight cups a day minimum. Try lemon water, which cleanses the body of toxins, flushes the liver, adds vitamin C, and alkalanizes the body, restoring the body’s natural ph balance. (A Berkey water filter would be a very smart investment, along with a Dyson air purifier, since our water and air are now, sadly, toxic.)

Minimize caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, tobacco, refined and processed foods, meat, dairy, toxins and sugar. In other words, abandon the modern diet – it will make you stressed, sleepless and sick.

Avoid caffeine after 2pm (or noon if you’re very sensitive to it).

Don’t eat in the evening. Eat frequent, small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day; eat your heaviest meal at noon; and finish eating dinner by 6pm, or better, 5:30pm. Any food eaten after 6pm will not be fully digested before 9pm, when your liver goes into a natural rest and regeneration mode, and when our bodies most naturally want to be sleeping. That means eating after 6pm will definitely impair your sleep. Don’t do it. It’s a challenging habit to break, but it’s just not worth it to eat late, or snack in the evening, then have a bad night’s sleep as a result.

Eat lots of greens, and sweet orange vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots and squash – they are naturally soothing and relaxing to the body, as well as nourishing and healing.

Take extra omega-3 essential oils. They can be found in high concentrations in flax, hemp and chia seeds in particular. Put them in or on everything.

And try these naturopathic and herbal medicines for good sleep:

Super Sleep formula: a chewable tablet with 5-HTP, L-theanine and melatonin

(available through Costco – and yes, it’s worth the minimal membership fee, as you will save that amount on your first trip)


(Naturally found in turkey and bananas, and also available in tablets)

Rescue Remedy Sleep

Holy Basil



(take in the morning and afternoon, as they boost energy as well as lowering stress and bringing relaxation, and might make you too alert to sleep at night if taken in the evening)


And if all of that doesn’t work, get a brick! Ok, just joking. These things should help immensely.

The habits are the big ones, but the other things will help a great deal in the meantime. Good luck! I wish you peaceful sleep, and a healthy, happy, vibrant life to all.

March 23, 2016

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