Hey, Dork. Pithier, not a louder Left

Ted Cruz said show him one mass shooting that gun laws prevented. Which mass shooting did guns prevent? Leftie’s and reasonble gun owners need to get more sarcastic not louder. Take these examples:

1, Not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all terror… Okay, then not all white people are KKK, but all KKK is white people.

2. That child you abort might one day grow up to cure cancer…or, that child you fail to abort might one day grow up to kill the person who would have cured cancer.

3. It was a cool summer in Des Moines, where’s your global warming now? Answer, the world is round and your head is square.

4. “So-called” Muslims need to clean up the extremists in their midst if they really are a religion of peace…to, does that also apply to “so-called good” cops?(Also will accept “does that apply to leagal gun owners?)

5. Gun laws won’t prevent criminals from getting guns. Um, do laws prevent criminals from breaking any law?


6. Gun laws won’t prevent criminals from getting guns. Car thieves still steal cars, does that mean you shouldn’t have a license, or car insurance?

7. I can’t vote for a socialist like Bernie Sanders, well then, you definitely wouldn’t have voted for Washington, Adams, Jefferson or Lincoln. “We the people?” or “Union” let alone “more perfect union,” or “welfare,” in the constitution? Or is it that the Right only believes that its only about the guns and Blacks as 3/5 a person?

8. also not in the constitution, the word freedom, internet, porn, gay, abortion, AR-15, big gulp, god, Christian, apple pie, Chevrolet or immigration.

Sometimes the only cure for stupid is a good strong whack to the head.

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The Paris Judgment

Paris was a turning point on Friday. Certainly this will affect the economic debate in the US presidential election. As I wrote back in May and June, election predictions too far out are dangerous, as they can turn on a dime. The West and the US will edge a bit closer to fascism paraded as security. Europe’s ultra-right wing will be invigorated, and while the West, particularly NATO and the US will appear to take a more aggressive stance against ISIS and its affiliates, like yesterday’s airstrike by US warplanes in Libya, that is merely a matter of competition now between the US and Russia over oil and gas in the Mideast. The US is simply attempting to keep pace and compete with Russia.

Following the French terrorist incident Friday in which at least 129 were killed France found resolve with Russia, paving a new boost in prestige for Russia. Russia, smarting from an attack on an airliner two weeks ago in Egypt is benefitting from a resurgence of nationalism. It is likely, even predictable that a new more powerful rightwing, anti-immigrant and aggressively violent, will grow to prominence across Europe and Russia. This comes at a time when Europe is struggling to cope with hundreds of thousands of predominantly Syrian refugees. The timing of these attacks is hardly coincidental.

The attacks in Paris by ISIS is a rebuke of a renewed assault, now including Russia, but they are also a calculated political move. Europe is already polarizing in the wake of the attacks. That means two forces are attempting to radicalize immigrants and Muslims in Europe as a resurgent rightwing drives division through hate and opportunism. The refugees lay squarely in the middle of that equation. The attacks will also slow or stop progress in addressing the refugee crisis just as winter begins. That will mean a rise in desperation that will drive more violence potentially.

In this country whatever initiative Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton may have had will evaporate quickly as fears rise, valid or not, of possible terror attacks within the US going into the holiday season. The narrative will be on security and guns, not economy. The attacks immediately undercut the so-called million student march on pressing economic issues here. Rightwing commentators have already begun describing the #BlackLivesMatter effort as terrorism. This weekend would be dictator Donald Trump capitalized ghoulishly by criticizing the French for gun control laws. He is just the first of what will be a gleeful orgy on the right concerning guns. they will point to France as an example against any sort of reasonable gun legislation.

In fact, French citizens are allowed to own guns. In this country there has been a call for screenings based upon mental illness. French law requires competency exams by a doctor annually, along with a regular check up. The weapons used in this weeks attacks are smuggled into the country illegally. French gangs receive many combat style weapons from the former Yugoslavia where in the aftermath of war unregistered guns still proliferate. It is the same issue facing Chicago’s violence with straw purchases from gun stores ringing the south and west borders of Chicago. One of Friday’s gunmen, Omar Ismail Mostefai, born in France, was a petty criminal with access to illegal weapons before becoming radicalized. The suddenness of attacks and the nature of those attacks would have neutralized any would-be pistol packing party-goer in a dark crowded, loud and confused environment. Furthermore, the attackers were already resolved to die.

The truth is, gun laws in France work. There were just 665 murders in 2012 in France, with a per capita rate of 1 compared with 15,000 and a per capita rate of 5 for the US. The United States has FAA rules and licensing for aircraft, but that did not prevent 9-11, so by the gun lobby’s logic we should close the FAA. To drive a car Americans must have a valid license, which doesn’t stop car thieves.

ISIS is calculating and the West is still reacting blindly. More security undermines democracy and civil liberties. They are shrewdly sowing discord in target countries. Attacks and threats of violence driven by FOX and the right in this country from these attacks will increase pressure on American Muslim and immigrant communities, exactly what ISIS hopes to achieve. They want unrest and division in Europe by enlivening radical rightwing groups and politicians and by polarizing normally reasonable communities. In the US, the Paris attacks fit perfectly to the Republican effort to polarize whites by sowing fear from immigrants and Muslims, since they have all but lost Hispanic, and Black voters.

It remains to be seen how this will turn out. Given the level of narrative and its tolerance by the American people, that does not bode well for civil liberties, the election, civility and democracy in America, in Europe and beyond. Put this one in the win column for ISIS. This was an attack on social and community fault lines, which just became wider and more dangerous. Just like Osama bin Laden and September 11, 2001, the attack was on the crumbling vestiges of democracy and civil society.

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Bernie’s Benghazi/Biden Bump: Dark Horse 2016

The pundits are shills for the DNC, part of the continuing effort to convince or control Americans against making a choice for a non-establishment candidate like Bernie Sanders. The announcement Wednesday by vice president Joe Biden that he would not run for president on the democratic ticket was widely seen as a boost for Hillary. A CNN poll last week asked voters to rate support for Hillary and Sanders with and without Biden in the race. A significant number of Clinton voters opted for Biden. In fact, 3/4 of Biden’s theoretical support came from Clinton voters. The question becomes, why were so many Hillary voters willing to jump so quickly to Biden?

By midday during the partisan taxpayer funded attack on Mrs. Clinton paraded as a Benghazi investigation the presidential hopeful and establishment candidate for the DNC was taking a bludgeoning by republicans. Skewed by corporate media, she is certain to lose momentum in the hearings. Sanders, it appears will go into New Hampshire still trailing Clinton, but likely not with the deficit predicted, or constructed, by pundits. What all of this shows is more likely that Hillary has been able to capitalize on the name and the legacy and the weight of media coverage relative to the near total blackout of Bernie Sanders. That ship may be turning.

Sanders may have stumbled slightly last week attempting to define Democratic Socialism, and to build a brand nearly from scratch against long held misconceptions, outright falsehoods and ignorance about that moniker, but he stumbled into the right direction with more credibility and confidence than the #Black Lives Matter issue some weeks ago.

The question for Hillary is why so many assumptive supporters were so quick to jump to Biden. That seems to indicate discontent in the Hillary camp and a lack of absolute confidence that she is the best person for the job in 2016.

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Dark Horse: Dominating the Message

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is protecting Hillary Clinton. The Right is protecting Hillary Clinton. The October 13 Democratic debate should rightly be the showdown between Clinton and Sanders. Even Rightwing talk shows this morning, supposedly animated against Mrs. Clinton were silent about the debate. There is a great deal revealed in that silence.

Contrast that to station-hyped viewing parties, and near constant coverage of the Republican debates. CNN has been comparatively low key about their own debate, despite the outpouring of support for candidates like Sanders.

The comparison between Clinton and Sanders could hardly be greater, and while Clinton has rebounded a bit given a slightly less aggressive speaking schedule by Sanders, revelations that the Benghazi hearings were a staged partisan political attack and a near blackout of Sanders coverage by corporate news conglomerates, Sanders last week hit a milestone by reaching 1 million individual donations.

For the Republicans and their network marketing apparatchiks it is about dominating the message. That message has been fully directed at Hillary, the presumptive and predetermined nominee. Their message, having fully lost Hispanic and Black voters going into 2016 is to polarize voters along racial lines. Guns, fear, terrorism, immigration and so called non-traditional American values are tactics directed at white voters. Overheard are fears that the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned of, and which drove us into wars in Vietnam and the Middle East is coaxing a crisis with Russia and Syria as a distraction from true issues pertinent to this election.

Sanders would have the argument about social and economic issues. Those are the real issues critical to the US, to the poor and working middle class. But the Party democrats and party republicans each are guilty of protecting policies threatening social safety nets, protecting and coddling banks and who are more beholden to the wealthy and powerful to the detriment of the poor and middleclass Americans. For those republicans and democrats and their corporate cronies the government has become a cash machine at the taxpayer’s expense, and a means of privilege and power eschewed and feared by the framers of the constitution.

Hype, marketing and advertising brought nearly unprecedented numbers of viewers to the republican debates. By design and admission none of that was used for the democratic debate. Given that Sanders, still drawing larger crowds than nearly every other legitimate candidate combined, has been the target of derision or simply ignored by both the apparatchik republicans and democrats the reason seems clear.

The parties are dominating the message. Sanders is the wise old man out who stumbled into a cocktail party full of idiots. Sorry, but those idiots are not about to entertain his intelligent notions. But it does underscore the irrelevancy of party politics. Sanders’ supporters will have to muscle him through on their own. Don’t wait for the nomination that will never come. If Sanders has a chance, it will be as the first ever write-in candidate in the history of the Republic to become president.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray with Jack Hammond and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Inside Outside

Rush Limbaugh is right, it is the media. Of course, he is a very consequential piece of the messaging system of the corporate and power elite. Call it the advocacy media. My good friend, Sid Yiddish, differs with me on just how much influence Limbaugh actually has. But there is a reason media corporations, like Salem and Clear Channel/iheart media gobbled up radio and television stations following Reagan’s abolition of the Fairness Doctrine and Bill Clinton’s Telecommunications Act of 1996. Limbaugh makes over $40 million annually, speaking for the regular folks. Despite being a ratings drag. KEIB in Los Angeles is 37 behind 4 college stations and a Polish language station, WABC in New York dropped from 3rd to 22nd in the market and KFI dropped listeners in droves the instant he hit the airwaves.

It isn’t about ratings, though. It is about saturation. Salem overseas a media empire of more than 2500 stations, including affiliates. Clear Channel owns 800 outright and affiliates to over 3000 others. There are almost 8000 rightwing and conservative stations out of 15300 overall in the nation. There are fewer than 200 so-called progressive stations, despite often high ratings for shows such as Thom Hartmann and Stephanie Miller. It’s called Return on Investment. Limbaugh is not a charitable contribution. Keep that all in mind for the time being.

Many of us make the same mistake, depending upon political orientation, that the media is either too liberal or too conservative.. It is neither. It is a function, a tool, the messaging component of a much larger system comprised of many people who have no idea they are actually part of that system. That system survives and thrives on maintaining the illusion of the team sport of Right and Left politics. The consumer is necessary to maintain that system. Understanding the function of the media is critical to understanding what is befalling electoral politics in America, A neighbor resisted that notion. Her resistance is likely more a sense of betrayal over a part of American lore she held as sacrosanct. Fundamentally it is as simple as any business plan. Scott Walker’s dropping out of the race suddenly only supported what I have been saying since February.

There is no actual Right or Left in US politics. There is only insiders and outsiders. Insiders may be nominally republicans or democrats, though their ultimate function is in selling the game to the rest of us outsiders. Outsiders are partisans who rarely understand the backroom deals while they are scrapping out on the field. Evidence the distractions in the media of this celeb or that scandal or sudden media alarm over the high price of yogurt, only to discover that a key treaty or trade deal or law had been passed to the benefit of the 1% and the detriment to the average American while everyone was distracted.

When attempts to co-opt Occupy by the DNC going into the 2012 election failed the group was targeted, marginalized and attacked. By contrast, the Tea Party was created by Insiders like Dick Armey and Karl Rove. It was then franchised out to give the illusion of grassroots, while serving and affirming, either directly or indirectly the hegemony of the power elite. Occupy was scattered. The Tea party serves a function.

Trump and Sanders are outsiders, to a degree. Trump is more of an outsider. Sanders has been in those circles of power and speak directly to more of them than most others. Because he knows, and rails against what he knows he is ignored almost completely by the corporate media. Bernie, in the present system, will not be the Democratic candidate, not without massive outrage and action. Insiders will not all that to happen. Trump serves a far different function. He is not a man of the people, but a man to control the people. Trump is for sale to his ego, which the Right has fed. He is a better tool than talk radio to inject rightwing policies directly into the mainstream. Rightwing policies are a means of control to protect the corporatist centers of power controlled by the Insiders. Trump is far more effective in messaging than Limbaugh these days.

Scott Walker was never intended to be the nominee in 2016. He has shown that he is for sale to the highest bidder, and will pander if power and prestige are the goal. He was being vetted, gaining experience for 2020 or 2024. The others are functionaries as well. Carson, Rubio, Fiorina and the rest are intended to dominate the message in the media against any true discourse of pressing and critical topics(Hint: immigration and ISIS are not Critical). The other purpose is simply to generate vast sums of cash to feed the media machine. FOX has made it a cyclical industry.

Jeb Bush will be the candidate. He is the consummate insider. He knows too much about the theft of the election of 2000 and the disenfranchisement efforts of millions of voters. Like Hillary, Bush wants the job and he will have it. The rest of us a just living in his family’s country. The media, as it did with McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, both deeply disliked candidates, will consolidate and persuade voters of the necessity for supporting Bush. Bush’s abysmal poll numbers are meaningless.

On the Left, so to speak, Hillary’s ascension has likewise been decided. She also assumes the presidency is her Right, the voters a means to an end. DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, reportedly deeply invested in corporate prisons, is running interference for Hillary by tightly controlling debate schedules. If Hillary’s liabilities prove too great the DNC is already teasing the idea of a Joe Biden run, with Liz Warren as the running mate meant to bait and switch Bernie Sanders supporters, and to soothe the betrayal of Hillary fans. Despite being clearly the strongest candidate on the Left, the refrain in the halls of the DNC remains, “Bernie who?”

In the end, which ever candidate ultimately steps into the presidency, they will pander on token issues to partisan constituents. Both will continue the same incremental corporate takeover of the nation and the government begun under Reagan and continued unabated by every president since. Still, hopeless as it sounds there is always one way to beat this corrupted system; Voting and activism. They both go hand in hand. The Question is whether the American people will show in sufficient numbers, taking over events like the Black Lives Matter, Code Pink and Immigration and LGBTQ activists have done while also showing up as never before to the polls.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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DARK HORSE: Bernie sanders 2016-So long Bernie

Oligarchy: noun ol•i•gar•chy \ˈä-lə-ˌgär-kē, ˈō-\ a government structure where a small and elite group have power.

It was a good run. Bernie sanders excited the Progressive and Liberal base, and could have won, if this were truly a functioning democracy. Instead the US is not considered and fits the textbook definition of Oligarchy. That is not simply a cynical opinion, but the results of a study by Princeton and Northwestern Universities. That report found that average Americans have near zero input in their government, while a small number of wealthy individuals and corporate interests dominate the US government. Talk radio, the Tea Party and even Occupy are populist ruses or distractions designed or harvested to channel mass public opinion while providing the illusion of individual empowerment, and to identify and discredit dissenters.

Bernie sanders was first to feel the sting, and is being marginalized more with each passing day in a corporate controlled media and the elite and corporate ruled DNC. That was fully evident with Howard Dean Sunday on a Sunday talk show threw his full weight behind Hillary Clinton, calling her the most qualified candidate. The network political shows filled with speculation about a possible Joe Biden run, hinting he was talking with Elizabeth Warren as a possible running mate. Bernie Sanders, who attracts more people to his rallies than other candidates combined is increasingly being erased from coverage and from discourse, despite a surging growth in popularity. Sanders reacted positively to the Black Lives Matter protest several weeks ago in Seattle, taking a more pro-active position and engaging witrh the movement by appointing BLM Symone Sanders as his Press secretary.

Now the target is Donald Trump. The wild-eyed couch republicans dreamy-eyed and irascible at Trumps veiled racism about immigrants and how he would “handle” BLM protesters, are also soon to feeling the emerging wrath of an insider run political apparatus. That apparatus has already begun dismantling the Trump parade. The difference between Sanders and Trump is two=fold. First, by all indications Sanders is running on actual issues with a statesman-like demeanor respectful to the process and the country. He eschews the powerful and idealistically asserts that in numbers citizens can have their country back. Trump is a populist self-aggrandizing media clown.

Second, as Sanders continues to be shut out of the system, the media, the election and the discourse, so too will expire his grassroots funding. Trump has the money to maintain his sugar-coated clown parade that actually affirms racial and class divisions and the confirmation of a political and social elite. While treating him as the comic foil and hate driver for the election, he may serve a purpose, but the real elite, the interbreeding power protectionists of the upper echelons of the GOP and DNC (Your favorite congresshead or most hate are simply passing flavors of the day) will not let him get close to the White House.

It would be inaccurate to blame the corporate elites and political echelons of power alone. The American people have squandered their democracy through neglect, ambivalence and reactionary social and political masturbation. Too many on the Left, predominantly fickle white activists, abandoning the noose and blood-tinge fight by Blacks and women to gain the vote abandon that necessity to protecting a healthy democracy by discrediting the vote out of some childish conception of changing the world fundamentally to a yet undefined hipster paradise populated by all electric Volvo SUVs and locally sourced Starbucks. On the Right, they pander to their all too prevalent fears of immigrant, non-white and Islamic boogey men, flagellating themselves over Christian values, nebulous concepts of Freedom filtered through the oligarchic prism of greed trade and through their own imbued and as yet unacknowledged and undiagnosed notions of their own paranoia and latent homosexuality. They proselytize about returning to good old days that never existed, except as a transient pretense of a place where white people could presume to always be dominant.

The lion share of the blame goes to the vast middle; all those “reasonable” Americans channel flipping lazily through the social and political realities of the day waiting to be sold or to find an opinion that fits with their pothole perspective of the world. They have become the great sea of grass. Only too happy to whip with the media and political winds while choking slowly and steadily the self-serving policies of a select few. Worse, of all of these people, Left, Right and Middle, as fewer than 7% will ever leave the country for any educational or enlightening period of time, they are prime to be fed myths about “socialist” Europe, that Canada’s healthcare system pales in comparison to Americas (Despite Canada’s alarm at the flood of Americans attempting to enter for healthcare and medical reasons), or the myth that the world is a dangerous place by highlighting isolated and often contrived terrorist threats. Americans are happy, it seems to wallow in their own graves, as long as they have a WiFi signal and cable TV.

Finally, in our cheerleader, don’t make waves anglo-dominated society, inaction is the call of the day. More than a month ago a rally to organize for Sanders was held in Chicago. Apart from the fact that most were elderly and all of them white all 100 or so clapped and cheered at the theatre event led by Progressive Democrats for America. There was no engagement by the Sanders’ campaign, worse nothing has come of that event. There is no organizing, no aggressive outreach, no significant events. Sanders, in not building even a loose affiliation with a central organizing effort, as well as the “you go first” attitude of those who attended the meeting is fundamental. Indeed, it is a fundamental failing of the culture and allows or commands that we are to be led and exploited to enrich a few, regardless of party of affiliation, or whether you engage or disengage from the “system.”

That is a greater disease. Trump and the electoral process as it is fed to us now in 2015 is but a symptom of a greater disease. Sanders might have been the cure, but with each passing day, as his voice is steadily silenced, we may never know.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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DARK HORSE: Bomb, bomb Iran…

Why the drumbeat for war with Iran? The plummeting cost of oil. In 2003, after George Bush vowed publically to liberate Iraqi Oil, the major oil companies told him to leave it in the ground. From the 1980s thru September 2003 a barrel of crude went for between $25 and $33. Instability in Iraq, Venezuela and Nigeria pushed it up slightly, then following the invasion the price of crude jumped to over $40 a barrel, and then to $50. Iraqi oil and sanctions against Iran and US pressure on Venezuela kept major market suppliers out of the market. Capitalism, or market manipulation in action? By the end of the Bush administration crude was over $90 a barrel, with oil companies in the west making unprecedented profits. Iran is the 4th largest oil producer, but has been under an embargo for better than a decade.

The low prices represent a market correction, based on true natural market forces of supply and demand. That is not the strategy oil companies in the west have followed. Low oil prices devastate Russia’s economy, which is why he appears more militant lately, as the specter of tension puts scare into the market, raising prices. Low oil prices are great for America’s consumer driven economy. The line is in the $3.5 to $4 dollar per gallon range that hammers businesses and consumers. $60-70 per barrel is optimal for oil companies keeping the US price of gas at around $3, and ensuring large profits, though not the historical ones they once saw (government oil subsidies make up the difference).

Iraq with the ISIS issue keeps that country unstable enough to stagger the production of oil. Bringing Turkey into the war against ISIS (and Kurds) guarantees the reserves in Syria and Iraq remain tied down. Syria and Russia, by the way, are allies and oil business partners. (http://www.ibtimes.com/syrian-oil-gas-little-known-facts-syrias-energy-resources-russias-help-1402405). Curiously ISIS is fighting for those very fields.

Why no reports of Western Oil companies attacked or fleeing ISIS madmen? The Kurds we are supporting to save from ISIS is actually a middleman in blackmarket oil sales from ISIS to the West. Turkey, a NATO ally, also is part of the ISIS to market oil sales pipeline. The British are implicated in that network (http://beforeitsnews.com/awakening-start-here/2015/08/britains-secret-ties-to-governments-firms-behind-isis-oil-sales-and-no-one-saw-it-coming-like-2008-3336.html). The US, who, along with the allies vanquished 26 million Axis troops on land sea across 5 continents in just 5 years in the 1940s cannot destroy 30 thousand fighters in the open desert fighting on a relatively narrow swath of ground in two endemically poor neighboring countries?

The lifting of sanctions on Iran opens up the 4th largest oil reserves on the planet is devastating to Western oil company profits. With more and more pressure on US lawmakers to end corporate subsidies, and with greater pressure from renewable, the only avenue left is war. A republican president, heeding the cries for war, as Ted Cruz and Scott Walker have promised, or a Hillary Clinton administration, re: her Libya and Syrian policies, her policies over Ukraine and Crimea (See my book: A Tragic Fate) and her vote to support the war in Iraq all but guarantees a massive war against Iran. Israel, Hamas the Palestinian question and terrorism are simply the sugar coating on a very bitter pill. They are the trick that moves Americans into supporting war.

And you believed in market capitalism. Bless your heart!


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DARK HORSE: Bernie Sanders 2016-Black Lives Matter, for some. (Updated)

It was an outdoor event for Bernie Sanders in Seattle. Just as Sanders began his speech before several thousand supporters activists for BlackLivesMatter overtook the stage. Sanders retreated, abandoning the stage to the activists. Amid boos and shouts the activists demanded a moment of silence for Michael Brown, killed by police in Ferguson Missouri a year to the day earlier. Calling Sanders supporters a bunch of white racists, the activists were a gift the Clinton campaign. But what if they were something else? What if they represented an attack by Clinton on Sanders? There is a history that supports that theory.

Bernie Sanders is a distraction for Hillary Clinton. On August 5th it became only too clear to her campaign that the distraction had in fact become a threat. He has real momentum, as a virtually every poll of likely voters found Sanders and Clinton in a statistical dead heat. More alarming for the Clinton camp is that those numbers show Sanders’ numbers continuing to rise as confidence in Mrs. Clinton continues to fall. The attitude of the Clinton camp is that she will be the democratic party’s nominee, and major forces are aligning behind Clinton to ensure that inevitability. The Clinton campaign’s number one task is to deliver a decisive blow to Sanders.

Sanders’ Achilles heel is his lack of recognition within the Black community. It represents a substantial weakness, as the Black vote is critical going into the primaries, but more so for the general. Hillary lags behind and even is perceived as insincere on economic issues. In the past she courted banks and financial interests, while Sanders has been consistent about those institutions and their legacy in bringing about the financial collapse of 2007-2008, which decimated millions of middle class and poor families. Sanders has helped to drive her to a more public position of holding Wall street accountable, even while she still courts those same interests.

The facture point is in the BlackLivesMatter movement. That movement has succeeded in highlighting the singular disparity in police shootings of Blacks versus any other racial or ethnic group in the country. A Black man is seven times more likely to be shot by police than a white person. Getting to a proper comprehension of that issue poses challenges to many in the white community who have no cultural reference to the Black experience in America. Martin O’Malley found that out abruptly at a campaign stop in Arizona when interrupted by a black lives matter activist when he proclaimed that “all lives matter.” Sanders was forced off the stage at the same event. The reaction by both candidates did little to increase their profile in the Black community.

The Arizona Netroots Nation event, moderated by Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant, was focused on immigration, in a state in which police have pursued an anti-immigrant agenda. She is trailing Sanders in the immigration debate, adamantly opposing illegal immigration but supporting TPP and remaining silent on corporate transgressors, both of which are directly responsible for driving undocumented immigration. 2293692353_e17a771b2f

Here is the interesting part: Bernie Sanders has been the target of two high profile disruptions, covered extensively on the corporate press and on social media, as if to make the case on how poorly in touch with the Black community Sanders appears. Unlike Arizona, sanders did not immediately leave the stage until it was obvious that the protesters were not going to allow him to speak, understanding that the imagery of BlackLivesMatter protesters being dragged off the stage would have been potentially devastating. But Sanders can point to a half Century of work for race issues and neglected communities, including an arrest in Chicago over fair housing practices.

Hillary made the same mis-speak in June, following the tragedy in Charleston when she said that “All Lives Matter,” while speaking at a Black Church. Despite that she has not faced the same disruptions that have dogged Sanders in particular. Whether or not that has been a deliberate tactic to drive Sanders out of the race is yet to be seen. There is, however, a history by Hillary Clinton in this sort of all out political warfare. In that fight her campaign has always gone for the jugular. While establishment democrats and progressives are keen to warn constituents and voters against the so-called circular firing squad in criticizing fellow dems, Hillary Clinton has shown an inclination in destroying adversaries and their supporters regardless of party affiliation. This is her last shot at a run for the white house. Those long knives are apparently out and quicker than ever.

Recall, it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign who began the “birther movement” to undermine the Obama campaign. The campaign also circulated the now infamous Obama “Turban” photo, meant to portray Obama as both a non-citizen and as a Muslim as a means of playing on base nationalism and bigotry. It was attorneys acting in support of Clinton who first raised erroneous doubts regarding Obama’s eleigibility(http://canadafreepress.com/article/22345). At the end of July the Clinton campaign began its outreach to Black Lives Matter leaders led by Clinton Black outreach director LaDavia Drane. On July 25th Drane attended the Movement for Black Lives convention in Cleveland, which saw some 1400 attendees. BuzzFeed confirmed from the Clinton campaign that Drane held “one on one meetings” with key figures (http://www.buzzfeed.com/darrensands/clinton-campaign-starts-black-lives-matter-outreach#.pxv5VPoJ7). Opel Tometi, founder of the group that disrupted the Netroots event expressed an interest in meeting with Drane. This from her Twitter following the event:
opal tometi ‏@opalayo Jul 27
opal tometi retweeted Tana Hargest
Nah, Clinton camp absolutely did not meet with #BlackLivesMatter. https://t.co/pam8V0Yh8U
opal tometi added,
Tana Hargest @TanaHargest
Clinton’s black engagement dir. LaDavia Drane attended #M4BL & didn’t meet w/@aliciagarza @osope or @opalayo Huh??? https://twitter.com/katherinemiller/status/625496183360892929 …

Tometi is a tireless activist, for both immigrant and African American rights. It seems likely that two events disrupting Bernie Sanders, just as his momentum is proving a substantial threat to Clinton’s designs on the white house are coincidental, a lack of organization or the open door policy of Sanders events in welcoming everyone. By contrast Hillary maintains strict order in every environment, even roping away reporters. Hillary events, it should be noted, are virtual fortresses, usually requiring mandatory donations to get within eyesight of the candidate. Still, Sanders’ immediate reaction was to hire a new press secretary, a Black woman and active supporter of the BlackLivesMatter movement, Symone Sanders. It at least communicates an effort to squarely address issues critical to progressives and the Left.

Tia Oso, who works alongside, Opel Tometi, and who took the stage and microphone in Arizona tweeted earlier this month that, “Hillary has been getting protests. There is likely a demonstration in front of her HQ every day.” That may describe the true problem. The Black community is the battleground between Sanders and Clinton. For Sanders, the reaction by his predominantly white base may become his biggest weakness. That base was clearly upset by the Seattle disruption, sparking a social media battle that may drive away Black voters and BLM activists. In Chicago, so-called progressive radio station WCPT’ drive-time host Norman Goldman was livid about the affront to Sanders.

For Hillary it may just be hollow words to a community exhausted and cynical about hollow words and focus group responses at a time when deaths of Blacks at the hands of police seem to be on the rise rather than…

As one activists put it on Twitter, echoing a theme and strategy of oppressed peoples everywhere. “When oppression is the #statusquo, disruption is a moral duty.”

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DARK HORSE: Bernie Sanders 2016-A Tree Falls in the Woods

“I’m not dismissive,” Sanders told Meet the Press in late July. A week earlier “Black Lives Matter” activists interrupted a town hall forum featuring Sanders and fellow presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley. “I’ve been involved in the civil rights movement all of my life, and I believe that we have to deal with this issue of institutional racism.”

Sanders’ is struggling to reach Black and Latino voters. His somewhat terse response to protesters at the Netroots Nation gathering in Phoenix didn’t help win many converts. Hillary Clinton, anxiously eyeing Sanders looming in her rear view mirror quickly seized the initiative before an audience of 400 at the Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia, South Carolina that the US needs to confront a history of systemic racism.

“I think we first have to acknowledge and believe that black lives matter. This is not just a slogan, this should be a guiding principle,” she told the crowd(http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/23/politics/hillary-clinton-black-lives-matter/index.html).

The incident illustrates how the campaign, at least on the Left has evolved into predominantly domestic social and economic issues. With a world more integrated than any other time in history, and amid a slew of growing international issues, keeping the election about domestic issues alone seems unlikely. That is the reality every sitting president faces on a day to day basis, a full menu of domestic and international issues.

The Right is weak on domestic issues. Perennial meddling in social welfare programs, failure to hold banks accountable, the loss of manufacturing jobs and so-called trickle-down economics have all help reverse gains made against poverty. While those issues are paramount to the nation the insinuation of international affairs into national politics cannot be over-stated. The nation and the Bush administration discovered that painfully on September 11, 2001, in which focus on domestic issues blinded officials to looming threats overseas.

At the top of that list are a number of critical events. Earlier that summer the Chinese economy, was rocked as the stock market appeared to be in freefall, driven in part by a steep slide in commodity prices, a negative for an export economy. That has a ripple effect around the world. It also predicts all manner of internal ramifications for China, who has little or no experience in dealing with this sort of free market calamity. A one day loss in the Chinese market cost US investors an estimated $60 billion. Then there are global climate concerns, Iran post nuclear deal, Russia and Ukraine, the war in Yemen and the widening conflict with ISIS. The ISIS issue took an ominous turn at the end of July.

Looking back it seemed inevitable that Turkey would be drawn into the fight against ISIS in neighboring Syria. NATO member Turkey, who has struggled with the Kurdish PKK for decades stood by in as ISIS besieged the predominantly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobani. The US, banned from undertaking airstrikes from Turkish bases, attacked ISIS in support of the Kurds. Reports persisted that Turkey was playing a duplicitous game attempting to appease the ISIS threat on its borders. Turkey was earlier accused of purchasing black market oil from ISIS and in paying ransoms for kidnapped Turks. ISIS drew a large share of its wealth from such schemes. On July 20th all of that changed.

That day an ISIS linked suicide bomber killed 32 and wounded 104 during a press conference in the Turkish border town of Suruc (pronounced Shur-ooch). Turkey responded quickly with large scale counter-terrorism operations against ISIS. Seizing an opportunity Turkey also attacked Kurdish targets and arrested a large number of Kurds.

The event is significant since the necessity of Kurds in the region as the primary bulwark against ISIS has given Kurdish dreams of a homeland greater legitimacy. The Kurds ostensibly would drawn their greater Kurdistan across regions of Northern Iraq, Syria and Eastern Turkey. Complicating the issue, Turkey struck at ISIS targets in Syria and Kurdish forces battling ISIS in northern Iraq. NATO was quick to support Turkey, condemning terrorism in Turkey and cautioning on a proportional response by Turkey against Kurdish separatists. That sets up a potentially dangerous and unpredictable situation on the ground in the war against ISIS, which the US and coalition partners have struggled to contain in the region. It is likely the next president will step into office dealing with a conflict more chaotic and problematic than ever.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail Bernie Sanders drew 4500 enthusiastic supporters in Kenner Louisiana, near New Orleans, eclipsing the 1000 Republican governor Bobby Jindal drew in his home state. Mitt Romney took Louisiana in 2012 with 58% to Obama’s 40%, although Obama took 80% of the vote in New Orleans. That speech was very much about domestic issues, which is what many on the Left are demanding to hear, but at some point it will prove necessary to understand how Clinton and Sanders stand on key international issues.

The key is whether or not anyone will hear Sander’s positions, given the lack of Press coverage. It begs the question that if tens of thousands of trees cheer in the forest and CNN and FOX refuse to cover them, do they actually make a sound? That remains to be seen.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Dark Horse- Bernie Sanders 2016: The “S” Word

A caller to the Thom Hartmann program called to ask how to define for friends and family what a democratic Socialist was. Thom struggled with a somewhat long-winded response, indicative of the difference between nuanced characterizations of issues on the Left and the bumper-sticker simplicity of the Right. Given that the Right has worked hard to turn the word socialism, let alone, any concept or interpretation in a pejorative, it would seem that it is not a simple argument. Those words mean more to people over 40 who still recall the Cold War and the constant, generation’s long drumbeat about communism.

There are a couple of deep and unassailable truths here. The first is that neither China nor the Soviet Union were ever actually Communist, let alone socialist. They were dictatorships, more closely aligned to fascism than communism. The second ultimate truth is that we are all socialist by nature, and that even the most strident capitalist is, well, socialist.

The root of socialism is of course “social,” that intangible mix of family, community, culture and survival that we all are born to. To be social is to be part of society, and no matter how much Ayn Rand cultists infect neo-Libertarian or Tea Party ideology, we all rely and depend upon society to degrees few of us realize. The Bible, Koran, Torah, the parliamentary system, the constitution when realized fully are all socialist institutions and documents: We the People!

Communism and Socialism are not synonymous terms, except for the intentionally ignorant. Like capitalism and true democracy none have ever been honestly attempted on a grand scale, and so, all systems of economy and government on the planet are at worst corruptions and at best hybrids of one another. Bernie sanders has long described himself as a social-democrat, and through no small part of his life was active in the socialist party in Vermont. Sanders is running now as a democrat. That doesn’t make a great deal of allies on either the right or the far left.

Despite criticism from so-called purists in the socialist party, it is astounding that his message has found such resonance among voters and supporters. Just one or two elections ago mainstream candidates were all but running from being described or even associated with socialists. While on the ever aging Right socialism is still ubiquitous with communism, progressives and liberals, and many unaffiliated younger voters are far less alarmed by the word. In truth, many of his positions, consistent with socialist ideals, have become mainstream. A new generation, informed in politics, justice and social issues by the Occupy movement and the blatantly corrupt marriage of money and politics, embraces solutions and issues championed by Sanders, ideas once held as far left utopianism.

Still criticism by the left against Sanders persists. According to the website socialistworker.org:
“We do support many of Sanders’ proposals for reform, like free higher education, the breakup of the mega-banks, a green jobs program to promote alternative energy and stop climate change, and measures to challenge corporate domination of the political system. We also disagree with Sanders’ support for apartheid Israel and his failure to consistently challenge U.S. imperialism, his weak position on the issue of racist police violence, and his support for restrictions on immigrant rights.”

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, particularly for a malleable campaign which must react swiftly to a veritable hail storm of issues from terrorism, the Iran nuclear deal, the death of Sandra Bland and gun violence. For a candidate who fashions himself as a true reformer, Sanders has shown an ability to react quickly while actually listening to constituents rather than promoting focus group and special interest positions.

But for many on the Left, particularly in the socialist party, an often splintered group known for bitter internal battles, the problem is party affiliation. Ashley Smith and Alan Maass, writing for the Socialist Worker, believe Sanders’ “biggest problem is Sanders’ relationship to the Democratic Party. It poses as the “party of the people,” but it is, in fact, a capitalist party, funded and controlled by Corporate America and the political elite. The party establishment tolerates liberals and even radicals in their midst, so long as they don’t represent a significant threat. (http://socialistworker.org/2015/05/27/an-faq-on-sanders-and-the-left)”

But elections are won in the middle, and Sanders has built an amazing base, drawing record crowds around the nation, including in red states such as Texas. Those audiences are comfortable and encouraged that he does not shy away from being identified as a socialist.

The issue in the campaign is not that Bernie Sanders is running as a democrat or identifies as a socialist. The greatest threat to sanders’ campaign currently are the Press, factionalism on the Left and the Corporate Oligarchy, which holds inordinate sway over both parties, particularly when it comes to elections. But socialism is dangerous, right?

The Press and corporate oligarchy could be viewed as one in the same. Since the Reagan administration it has emerged as the information wing for that oligarchy. There remains a synergy between corporate media coverage of select corporately sympathetic candidates and the amount of money, especially following the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, flowing to candidates (http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2015/07/for-gop-senators-running-for-white-house-campaign-cash-correlates-with-export-import-bank-position/ ).

Even more, the number of Americans donating to elections and candidates, primarily via Super-PACs is dangerously skewed to a very elite minority, all of them wealthy and expecting a return on investment. That idea of return on investment is the structural strategy behind the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, a pipeline for corporate-crafted legislation placed in the hands of legislators. That fundamentally threatens the democratic process of voting, in the same way it would be undemocratic and unfair had a law passed allowing corporate CEOs to dictate all their employees vote for a specific candidate or face retribution or termination.

Just as alarming is the skewe3d coverage by the media in favor of select candidates while ignoring others. The coverage by networks and outlets favors candidates like Donald Trump with near constant coverage and validation despite a lack of substance in a campaign which is very clearly more about entertainment and Trump’s ego. There is nothing in any of his positions and comments beneficial to the pressing issues of the nation. More substantive candidates, attempting to have rational, real conversations have been kept out of regular media, those messages relying almost entirely upon social media. Social vs traditional media will be covered in a later post.

Factionalism within the Left remains a looming question. In the 2014 mid-terms low turnout on the left enabled key victories on the right. Particularly on the Left, dominated by younger voters there is both apathy and discontent. Both were reasons many young people refused to vote in 2014. Sanders has inspired many, even if coverage of his meteoric popularity has been ignored by the mainstream press. The factionalism on the Left may be a greater issue for Hillary Clinton than for Sanders. That remains to be seen. At the end of July she still led nationally in polls, but that lead was shrinking steadily. Still, the corporately co-opted DNC, like their GOP counterparts is pressing ahead with their choice: Hillary Clinton.

Getting out the vote is the key. Too many young people and progressives no longer have faith in that process. Numbers of votes are still the key. Someone is going to cast those votes. The right is counting on the elderly and actively working to polarize the nation along racial and economic lines. At the end of the day the candidates you get into office are the ones who drive the policies, make the laws and impose them on the rest of us. Voting is the only way to offset the corruption in the system.

Expecting any candidate to be 100% ideologically pure 100% of the time in a complex and diverse nation of 380 million is unrealistic and foolish.

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