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.…/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…/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…/the-radicalization-of-the-american…

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

Would President Bernie Offer Hillary A Cabinet Position?

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:

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

The Appeal of Sanders and Trump

Posted in Uncategorized on March 22, 2016 by jtoddring



News update:

As of the latest poll, by Reuters, which is the benchmark for such polls, as of March 18 (the most recent data) after closing the gap for some time, Trump is now beating Hillary in the polls. In a match-up between the two – and such match-up polls have been generally accurate to within 3% of the final election results – Trump would beat Hillary, and become the next president. Meanwhile, in a match-up between Trump and Sanders, Sanders wins easily, by a huge margin, of nearly 20%. Nearly 50% of people said they would vote for Bernie Sanders, while just over 30% said they would vote for Donald Trump. (So yes, 30% of Americans are stark raving mad, but that is beside the point.)

The conclusion is obvious: if anyone is worried about Trump becoming president – as they should be, since he is a raving lunatic, and certifiably insane, as well as a racist, sexist bigot, and he appears to also be a power-mongering fascist as well – then they should support Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is the safest bet to defeat Trump. Hillary would simply lose.

What is also clear is that if Hillary Clinton is serious about ensuring that the Democratic party defeats Donald Trump, then she should withdraw from the race immediately. She won’t do this, of course, because she is also certifiably insane (being zealously, even maniacally eager for war with Iran, for example, knowing full well this risks nuclear war with Russia), and also power-hungry, like Trump, but she should. In any case, a vote for Hillary has now become a vote for Trump, because she is going to lose to him. Sanders is not only the only decent candidate, but the only one who can defeat the psychopath which is Donald Drumph – er…Trump.

The mass media have been playing cheerleaders for both Trump and Clinton, (Trump received 23 times the media coverage as Sanders in 2015) but they are out of touch with the people, as well as corrupt, due to money interests. Don’t rely on them for information, of course. And do support Bernie Sanders, please – if for no other reason, than to ensure that Donald Trump never sees the inside of the White House, other than by way of photographs, or a guided tour.

Want to defeat Trump? Vote Sanders. It is the only way.

– JTR, March 24, 2016


In a nutshell, Donald Trump is a false populist, who is using and manipulating, and misdirecting the people’s anger, and channeling it into hate. Bernie Sanders is an authentic, real populist, who is touching on the people’s legitimate anger and discontent, and directing it where it should be directed, at the root of the problem, which is the Wall Street elite, and the corporate coup which is destroying the nation, the middle class, and the world. But let’s look more deeply, because these are serious issues, and a great deal is at stake.

Donald Trump appeals to the anger and frustration of the people, clearly, but why, exactly, does he hold such appeal for at least a minority of the people of the US? Well, the basic problem is that corporate globalization has meant that factories and jobs have been sent to China and other low-wage countries, with the result that the middle class in the US is being wiped out, as poverty and inequality – and tensions – soar. But instead of addressing the real problems, people like Trump blame immigrants and Muslims, and direct (or misdirect) the people’s anger there. It is a common pattern, and we’ve seen it before, and it is a dangerous pattern as well, of course.

Trump wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico, to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US. But this will accomplish nothing, other than wasting money and sowing further division, tensions and distraction. You could build the equivalent of the Great Wall of China all around the entire continental US, and it wouldn’t change the fundamental situation. The problem is within the US, and is not coming from outside.

The problem is globalization and de-industrialization, not immigration, be it legal or illegal. The problem is that the corporate elite have become drunk with greed, and are seeking ever greater short-term profits, at the expense of the American people and the world. Wall Street is simply seeking maximum short-term profits, by moving factories and jobs to low-wage countries, and the results have been devastating for the people of the US.

If Donald Trump had any intelligence or honesty, he would be the conservative equivalent of Bernie Sanders, and he would be focusing the people’s anger on the real source of the problem – which is Wall Street, and the off-shoring of jobs through corporate globalization.

But Trump has proven that he has absolutely no honesty, and probably very little intelligence either. He is a snake oil peddler, a scam artist. He is using the people’s anger in dishonest ways, simply to further his own power-lust and greed, and to further inflate his already bloated ego. And unfortunately, millions of people are falling for it, and are deceived by it.

Bernie Sanders is presenting a very honest populism, as opposed to the false populism of people like Trump or Clinton. Sanders is relating to the very real anger of the people, and focusing it where it should be focused – on the Wall Street elite who are devouring the people, the nation, and the world.

Fortunately, I don’t think there is much chance that Donald Trump could be elected in 2016, although we can never know for certain – and the simple reason is that the Bush-Cheney cabal destroyed the credibility of the Republican party.

(We should remember that when Obama won what the media ridiculously called a “populist landslide” in 2012, less than 25% of the American people voted for him – and even fewer voted for the Republican party. Both parties are now train wrecks, after four decades of selling the people down the river to the corporate elite, but the Republicans are in an even worse state of having destroyed their credibility than the Democrats.)

Even if the Republican party was not thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the great majority of the people, which it is, it is unlikely, at present at least, that such a rabid extremist as Donald Trump, could win a presidential election in 2016 – maybe in earlier times, or maybe, if things turn even worse, in a future time, but not in 2016.

Let’s be perfectly clear. Election fraud is still a possibility, and it has happened before, of course, so either Trump or Hillary could win by that means. But otherwise, neither of them is likely to win.

Trump would have difficulty winning, as I say, because he an extremist even by recent Republican standards, which are now abysmally low (Abraham Lincoln would be ashamed of what his party has become), and because the Republican party has disgraced and discredited itself, even with a large percentage of former Republican voters. And even among the small minority of Americans who still support the Republican party, only a minority of them support Donald Trump. Hillary has a negative approval rating, and is being investigated by the FBI, and no presidential candidate has ever been elected who has a negative approval rating, or is under investigation by the FBI. So unless there is widespread fraud or manipulation of the election, neither of these clowns stands much chance of winning.

The corporate media may portray the race as being between Trump and Hillary, but it is Bernie Sanders who actually stands the greatest chance of winning. This flies in the face of common opinion among media pundits, but we should not trust the media for any information, other than maybe the weather report – and they usually get that wrong too.

Bernie Sanders was essentially unknown to the American people, less than a year ago. He has gone from being a complete unknown, to becoming a major contender, virtually overnight. He has also raised more individual donations than any presidential candidate in US history, and with an average donation of under $30 – and has also refused all corporate Super-PAC money. So his support is very strong, and is growing.

Bernie Sanders also has the support of 80% of millennials – youth between the ages of 18 and 30. And we should note that millennials are now the largest voting block in the US, having just surpassed the baby boomers.

Bernie Sanders also has the support for the great majority of political independents. And we should also note that independents now outnumber both Democrats and Republicans in the US.

(Both major parties have disgraced and discredited themselves, as we have said, and more and more people are becoming independents, like Bernie Sanders is, as a result.)

So Bernie Sanders has a very large and passionate, growing number of supporters; and he has the overwhelming support of the two largest voting blocks in the nation, which are the youth and the independents. He has a very real chance of winning – barring election fraud, or the high-jacking of the democratic process by the “super-delegates” or the electoral college, or simple media manipulation of the people (see Amy Goodman’s comments below).

In fact, given the devastation of the Republican party on the one hand, and the facts pertaining to Hillary on the other, I would say that Bernie Sanders may well be the leading contender in the race, despite what the media have to say on the issue – if we are talking about the popular vote, and not about delegates. And this election may well yet come down a question of the democratic vote – stranger things have happened, and democracy just might arise in the United States, if enough people get off of the sidelines, shrug off their apathy and learned cynicism, and get involved.

We should also note two other very important points. One is that either Clinton or Trump would be perfectly acceptable to the corporate elite, and both are strongly backed by the Wall Street elite. Clinton is awash in Wall Street money, and both Clinton and Trump have received extremely favourable and extremely biased coverage and support by the corporate-controlled media on the whole. (Remember also that simple media presence means a tremendous amount – and in 2015 the US media gave Donald Trump 23 times the coverage they gave to Bernie Sanders. From that is is easy to tell who is Wall Street’s man, and who is not.)

Another important point is that in every match-up of candidates, Bernie Sanders would win over Trump in the election, while Hillary Clinton would most likely lose to Trump. And even early match-up polls have been accurate in recent presidential elections to within two percentage points of the final results. So the worst thing the Democratic party could do is to back Hillary Clinton.

Nevertheless, Clinton has the backing of the great majority of the (anti-democratic) super-delegates and the party establishment, precisely because she is Wall Street’s chosen candidate, and they know who butters their bread. So Clinton could win the Democratic nomination, despite the fact that it could prove disastrous to the Democratic party, and despite the grassroots populist uprising in support of Bernie Sanders.

(The party elite follow orders – and the money masters who call the shots care only that a compliant candidate who serves their interests, such as either Clinton or Trump, wins the election, and a candidate who has declared war on Wall Street, Bernie Sanders, does not. They care nothing about whether a Democratic of Republican candidate takes power, because what matters is not the party, but the compliance of the puppet installed.)

But what is most telling, is this. There are still several months left before the election, and in that time, a great deal could change. And one major element which may well be decisive is the fact that the more people learn about either Trump or Hillary, the less they trust them or support them: meanwhile, the opposite is true for Bernie Sanders – the more people find out about him, the more they trust him, and the more they like him, and tend to support him.

Remember also – it’s still early. Presidential elections are historically not decided until the final two months of the campaign, or less.

“Sanders’ campaign was dealt a body blow on March 15, when he lost 4 states to Hillary Clinton (he officially conceded Missouri days later after tying on March 15). However, the Vermont senator is positioned to win a majority, if not all of the coming primaries in Western states. Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Washington, Alaska, Wisconsin, and Wyoming all have caucuses and primaries in the coming two weeks, and Sanders is poised to win in nearly all of them.” – US UnCut, March 21, 2016

The system is corrupted deeply, but not beyond hope. There is always hope so long as there is breath. The people always hold the greater power. When, and if, they decide to make use of it, then everything changes. And that always remains a possibility, at virtually any, and every moment.

The people still have the power, and always have the greater power, as David Hume said. The question is whether they will realize it, and make us of it. Right now, most are asleep, and they seem to prefer it that way; but that can change any time. And more and more people are awakening, so there is definite hope, even though things look very bleak, and very ominous indeed.

As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’till it’s over.” Racists and war-hawks and the servants of the elite may not have the last word in this possibly pivotal election of 2016. Let us hope that is the case.


March 22, 2016

Despite massive media manipulation and a flood of money from Wall Street to swing the election results, Bernie Sanders continues to be the strongest candidate in the match-up polls

View at

Amy Goodman calls out CNN: ‘The media manufactures consent’ of Trump

Media Silent As Bernie Sanders Packs Seattle Arena Beyond Capacity, March 21, 2016

Media Silent as Bernie Sanders Packs Seattle Arena Beyond Capacity (LIVE VIDEO)

The Democrats Abroad ‪#‎GlobalPrimary‬ Results are out! Americans abroad cast 34,570 ballots from over 170 countries, giving Senator Bernie Sanders a 69% win to 31% over Secretary Hillary Clinton.…


This is why millions of people love Bernie Sanders:

Back when Bernie Sanders was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, C-SPAN asked him what his dream president would talk about.

Sanders, then in his mid-forties, began to speak earnestly about how Americans deserve a presidential candidate who would challenge the corrupt Washington establishment and take on the billionaires who run the political process. His response to the question sounded almost exactly like a Bernie Sanders stump speech in 2016.” (short video attached)


Elizabeth Warren Has the Donald Trump Take-Down America Has Been Waiting For


John Oliver on Donald Drumph


Bill Maher: Donald Trump Is the White Kayne


Bill Maher Destroys Donald Trump Again And Again


Who Will Own The Whitehouse – Nafeez Ahmed

View at


New Poll Shows Half of America Thinks Donald Trump Is A Fascist

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