Bernie Is Now The Front Runner, But We Still Have Work To Do

Fellow Berners. Fellow DSA canvassers. Fellow intersectional feminists. Fellow environmentalists.

Congratulations.

After losing in 2016, five years of gaslighting by the establishment, and a primary season filled with smears and centrism, Bernie Sanders is now the front runner in the Democratic Party Primary.

Bernie won the popular vote in Iowa and won New Hampshire despite a crowded field of candidates that could have split the vote against him.

Yet he prevailed, and prevailed for two reasons. 1. Bernie’s policies speak to the material needs of the working class and 2. We campaigned our asses off for him.

My twitter is filled with DSA members and Bernie volunteers telling the heart warming tales of the their experiences, knocking on doors, talking to the people about what is important to them, getting them to show up and vote. My DSA chapter is growing by the day because our members, old and new, are eager to go door to door and talk about Bernie.

Now, even MSNBC has to admit that Bernie is winning. Newsweek released a story just days ago that Bernie has the most P.O.C. support out of any candidate, putting to death the idiotic “Bernie Bro” argument.

Comrades and Berners, we did that!

However, while winning New Hampshire is something to celebrate, we cannot allow ourselves to assume that we have won the class war. Bernie is now the front runner, but the nomination is anything but locked.

The longer the other candidates stay in the race, the less delegates Bernie will get from each state, even when he wins the popular vote. This increases the odds of a contested convention, which increases the odds that our old friends in the DNC will nominate a rat like Buttigieg or an abusive boss like Klobuchar.

We also have a new enemy emerging from the pit that is U.S. politics. Mike Bloomberg, the slightly more polite version of Donald Trump, is trying to buy the nomination. Bloomberg is hiring staffers at a very competitive pay rate, spending millions on ad time, and is hiring influencers to increase his social media presence. Also, Bloomberg is focusing on states that are likely to help Bernie the most, such as my home state of California.

Bloomberg’s campaign in many ways is laughable. We can laugh at the oligarch who thinks he can just buy an election, but remember the last time we thought it was laughable for a billionaire to just buy the presidency, well, we all know who is president now right?

Bloomberg is blatantly trying to buy the Democratic nomination, and sadly, he might succeed if we take the rest of the election for granted. Bloomberg has quickly risen to third place in several polls, despite the constant revelations about his, problematic (and that is putting it lightly) past.

Even though Bernie is the front-runner we cannot assume he has the nomination locked, not while the looming threat of another oligarch hijacking the election exists. Do not shrug off Bloomberg, and above all, do not think we can slow down our campaigning.

Bernie won New Hampshire and we should celebrate, but then we need to cure our hangovers and get back to work. Knock on doors, call and text everyone we know, post about Bernie ;-), and above all, VOTE!

Socialism is now the front runner, let’s show the world why it’s going to win.

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Vote for Warren

Warren supporters, hear me out.

I know you want to see a woman president. I know that Warren has sucked you in with promises of plans and a folksy, Americana appeal. I know she has held her head high against Trump’s misogyny and as a woman in politics, misogyny in general.

I know she has a great populist slant to her rhetoric. I know she fulfills your fantasies about American capitalism being regulated and equitable.

I say everything I am about to say as someone who once respected Warren, you can actually go through my blog to see that I did once see her as a voice of the people. I was once impressed with her progressivism and her support for Occupy. That is where my fondness from her stemmed, she was one of the few people to acknowledge and validate the sentiments of Occupy, as did Bernie Sanders.

Then I woke the fuck up, and I am pleading with all of you to end your self inflicted tunnel vision, and accept the reality that I have accepted.

Warren is not the progressive she sold herself to be.

Here are ten reasons to stop supporting Liz Warren:

1. Liz Warren claims she helped people as a bankruptcy lawyer, but the Washington Post revealed that as an attorney she helped DOW Chemical minimize lawsuit settlement payouts to women who were poisoned by silicon breast implants. I’m going to repeat that in all caps for emphasis. LIZ WARREN WAS PAID BY DOW CHEMICAL TO PAY POISONED WOMEN AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.

2. Liz Warren validated right wing and racist talking points by lying about being indigenous her whole life AND she validated those talking points when she took that stupid DNA test. Warren might as well have said she believes in eugenics when she did that. I know several of you defend her on this point, “It was an honest mistake.” Well even if that is true, impact matters more than intentions, I have accepted that and so should other white leftists.

3. Liz Warren admires world leaders like Angela Merkel. Just so you know, Merkel is ON VIDEO telling a crying middle eastern girl why she has to be deported.

4. Warren has no excuse for misrepresenting the conversation she had with Bernie Sanders. Smearing someone who has been nothing but an ally as a willful agent of the patriarchy is dirty politics and it bastardizes the Believe Women movement.

5. Warren helped create the Trump presidency. Look, by now we all have to admit Bernie would have won in 2016, even if you don’t like Bernie (though I will say if you don’t like Bernie there is probably something seriously wrong with your competency). Warren could have shifted the 2016 primary in a big way had she chosen to endorse Bernie, who she had more inline with politically at that time and could have killed the Bernie Bro rhetoric. However she choose politcal cowardice, she made no endorsement until the race was reaching its conclusion and as a result the BERNIE BRO myth has lasted well into 2020, erasing hundreds of thousands of women and people of color.

Those who denyed us our first chance to have Bernie gave us Trump, Warren is one of those people.

6. Warren gave Donald Trump a standing ovation! This really should be number one. Giving a fascist a standing ovation should immediatly disqualify someone from political office. I genuinely do not understand why you are willing to forgive Warren for that if so many of you are as anti Trump as you claim to be.

7. Warren is by definition not a progressive because of her funding plan for M4A. She supports a regressive head tax to fund it, not a progressive payroll tax. You literally cannot call yourself a progressive if you dont support progressive policy, that is kinda the whole point of using the word progressive.

8. She lied about her tenure in the GOP. Her excuse for being a republican until 1994 was that she wasn’t politcally active, but we literally have her on tape giving speeches to conservative organizations like the Federalist Society.

By the way, if it was true she wasnt politically active as a republican, this means she stood on the sidelines during Civil Rights, Watergate, Roe v Wade, and the AIDS crisis. Either way, she was still a part of the problem.

9. Warren doesn’t do her research. At the last debate before Iowa she claimed she was the only candidate to beat an incumbent repbulican for her office in the last 30 years. Bernie quickly pointed out she was 100% wrong. Further, each elected office that Bernie won was held by a republican for almost a century.

10. Warren gave Donald Trump a standing ovation. I know I already wrote that one down but I feel like that’s an important one worth repeating. No one who gives Donald Trump a standing ovation for anything will ever have my respect.

The real Warren and the Warren that progressives are in love with are not the same person. Folks, I implore you, do your research, then vote for Bernie Sanders.

Why All Activists and Organizers Should Meditate

I have written multiple pieces about how I witness cliquish behavior when I am organizing. Whether it be in labor unions, non profits, or in DSA, I see cliques being formed in every space I organize.

What is frustrating about this is how I keep seeing everyone accuse everyone else of the exact same behavior they are guilty of. Everytime I see someone in my organizing spaces complain about another group being cliquish or toxic, they go ahead and behaive in the exact same way and vice versa. Everyone is guilty of the behavior everyone is accusing everyone else of, and I’m just sitting here pulling my hair out by the roots going, “WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE!? HOW ARE NONE OF YOU SEEING THIS!?”

Then it hit me. I have realize that a lot of the social anxieties and paranoias and cliquish caucusing that arises when organizing the working class can be narrowed down to a simple reality, there is not enough self reflection by organizers!

Some will respond their is plenty of self reflection in organizations like DSA because there is always constant self criticism. I think every activist and organizer can agree that most of us on the left are quicker to think of things we can do better than we are to count our victories and successes. However, self criticism is not the same as self reflection.

Self cricticism is the ego reflecting on what it knows in the tangible, physical world. Self reflection is the result of collecting one’s thoughts, of taking control of ones breathing, letting go, and letting the thoughts come to you instead of actively seeking them out. That is the real difference, self criticism is a scavenger hunt discussion about a single event or issue in order to actively correct or improve ones behavior, self reflection is merely the collection and acknowledgement of one’s thoughts and feelings.

In other words, self criticism is an active thought process, but self reflection is the practice of mindfulness.

The best way to self reflect is to meditate, to stop and focus only on your breath and let the thoughts come to you instead of seeking them out is the key to epiphany.

Meditation is an experience that can be calming, explosively transcendental, or both at the same time. When you only focus on breathing your mind is free to wander to its own places, and in those places you will reflect on your position, your class power, your organization, but unlike self criticism you do not reflect on what those thoughts mean or what their effect is, while meditating you simply acknowledge the thought but you stay with your breath.

Through meditation one can self reflect, and when one self reflects not only is one able to calm anxieties but their own attitiudes and behaviors are able to be acknowledged. Self criticism can only point out behavior that can be improved, self reflection allows one to acknowledge themselves on their own terms. The best avenue of self reflection is meditation.

The more leftists and organizers meditate, the more we can self reflect, the more we self reflect the more we can, for lack of a better term, calm the fuck down and start working with each other instead of turning into a bunch of cliquish teens!

In order to stop being so factional, we must be more self reflective, we can criticize ourselves and each other after we have acknowledged our own thoughts.

Capitalism Does Not Breed Innovation

Two words, purple ketchup.

They say that capitalism breeds creative innovation, that the free market allows for free thinking and in turn, creative freedom.

This “creative freedom” gave the world things like the Rejuvanique Face Mask, purple ketchup, and let us not forget the abysmal, “Cybertruck.”

I have no idea who reading this blog would need to hear this, but capitalism does not breed innovation, because people are inherently creative by nature and that natural creativity is what breeds our innovation, nothing more. In other words, people inherently breed innovation, not the systems which control people.

There is also this dated toxic notion that socialist states have never contributed to human innovation, as if places like the Soviet Union were nothing but backwards wastelands and not a world superpower with a gross domestic product equal to that of the United States.

The Rejuvenique face mask literally electrocuted your face and was sold as a cure for wrinkles.

This is not a defense of state socialism by the way, it is just important to note that socialist states like the USSR did infact contribute to the realm of innovation as any capitalist state has. The USSR gave us film school, theramins, anti air bomber tanks, medical procudures for broken bones, space suits, and more innovations to nuclear power than any other nation besides the U.S.

Dispel the myth from your head that it is the systems which breed innovation, innovation is a human quality, not a systemic one.

That said, there are systems that would encourage innovation more than others. Capitalism shakles innovation in a top down fashion. “You want funds for your invention? How will it profit me?”

In a socialist society, innovation would never be dependant on the good will of financial backers like the military or corporations. We would just be free to invent and create, especially if we did not have to worry about how we pay for health insurance, rent, or debt payments.

People are the innovaters, not capitalism.

Behind Closed Doors, A Poem

More goes on behind closed doors

Than you shall ever know.

Yes, corruption and malfeasance

But that is not what I mean.

Behind closed doors,

An abused partner cries.

Behind closed doors

A child’s dream is denied,

Because Mommy got fired.

Behind closed doors

A young man cleans up his Grandmother’s urine

Just like she did for him

When he was a baby.

Behind closed doors

More goes on than you will ever know.

No one is God, no one sees it all.

So be kind.

No one can see

Behind closed doors.

Why I Do Not Go to Indivisible Protests

Recently I saw in my Facebook timeline an ad for an anti-war event hosted by the local Indivisible chapter. The event was a “protest” against the escalation of violence that can, and will lead to war with Iran.

The following is an actual quote from their page:

While it is nice to know Indivisible is anti war, this epitomizes why I am not a liberal.

I will be blunt, as is my nature, you are not protesting if you are not disrupting the flow of capital. A few days ago I marched with DSA and Answer Coalition to protest the aggression against Iran and we did what protesters are supposed to do, we disrupted peoples lives. There was a die in in front of a Sacramento Kings game and before that we blocked traffic at “multiple intersections, forcing people to hear the message, “NO WAR BUT CLASS WAR.”

That, my comrades, is a protest.

Let me be quite clear, a protest without confrontation is not a protest, and a protest that gets permits to march in the streets is a parade.

Doing nothing but holding signs on the sidewalk is nothing more than self validation of your own beliefs.

The war in Vietnam did not stop because protesters played nice like this. They occupied recruitment and administration buildings. They got loud and forced people to watch the news clips of children being napalmed.

There is nothing revolutionary about being polite in the face of injustice. If you are not protesting in a revolutionary manner you are not protesting, period.

As the kids like to say, don’t @ me.

LIES Warren, A poem for Liz, the fraud and traitor, Warren

Liar Liar

Pants on Fire

Caught Red Handed.

She stabbed Bernie in the back

With a political attack

That was totally ungrounded.

Political ambition

Blinded her from the mission

Of speaking for the wounded.

The gal with the plan

Had no plan

And so her chances now have ended.

A Socratic Dialogue with Cornel West, And Why The Left Needs to Be About Love!

Between the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn and the coup that ousted Evo Morales, I have been quite close to giving into hopelessness and despair.

Then I got a belated Christmas gift. On Boxing Day, Cornel West made a visit our shared hometown of Sacramento to have a socratic dialogue.

Cornel West is up their with Evo Morales as one of my heros on the left, I would not be a socialist, and therefore not a DSA co-chair, were it not for my affinity with West’s work, an affinity I found in high school at the same time as I found Evo Morales. I was reading West long before I was reading Lenin or Marx.

I owed it to myself to make it to what might be my only chance to see him in person.

“I want everyone to leave here unnerved, unsettled.” He began with the fire in his voice that you knew was only going to make the flames grow as he scanned the crowd, as if he was making eye contact with every single person.

Assuming the people reading this blog would familiar with Brother West’s work and style, I do not need to go into excessive detail about how magnanimous and inspirational he was. This is not a post about his speaking style or his stage presence. No this is a post about the words that “unsettled” me.

And indeed, I left the dialogue very unsettled, in the best ways possible, because the professor forced me to face the despair that had gnawed at me.

“Don’t be afraid of the despair!” He bellowed this with the kind of passion that can only be compared to Dr. King’s. “Those who have never known have never lived!”

Immediately, I began to reflect on my despair.

Thanks to West, I choose not to suppress the fact I felt despondent and depressed by the beating the left has taken the last two months. I choose to embrace the feeling so that I may push through, and let that despair ignite my passion. The key is not to “never despair” as some leftists toxicly insist, the key is to push through the despair, to come out the other end stronger.

Later, when a woman confessed to the professor that she was beginning to feel “powerless against the rich and white men who hold the power,” West reminded us what our power truly is:

You are not powerless! You only feel powerless compared to a small group who have a certain kind of power. You always have moral power, and you always have spiritual power! I never want anyone to feel powerless.

But the pinnacle quote of the evening, for me at least, was a simple sentence that reminded me why I do what I do, why I got involved, why I started this blog and continue to fight this fight.

“Love cuts deeper than just justice.”

The man is the living embodiment of inspirational, but I was not just inspired, as West insisted, I left the talk “unsettled.”

I was unsettled because his last quote about love, forced me to face some truths about my own attitude. It made me realize that love was the whole reason I got involved in this fight.

I have to just be blunt, thanks to West’s words I see now that I at times can be too fastidious, too insistent about the means we use and not the ends that we need.

Somewhere along the line, I forgot that I do this out of love.

“If you confuse means with ends, you confuse success with greatness.”

Keep the fire quotes coming Brother West, the world needs you. I need you. We need to remember that love is the reason we fight.

Brother West, thank you for unsettling me!

Iran, a poem 🇮🇷

Remember Persepolis?

The little girl from Iran we read about as teenagers?

Well, she’s a real person by the way,

And so are the thousands in Iran set to die.

Soliders and civilains both have the same color of blood,

The same goes for Americans

and Iranians.

Be proud of being born on the dirt your parents fucked on?

Never!!

Patriotism is a waste of time that could be used sinning.

Patriotism is the trait of the barbarian.

We are socialists, not barbarians,

Yet the barbarism a sweet Rose warned us about thrives,

While the roses get trampled,

By the boots freshly licked clean.

F**K You Sylvia Garcia

I didn’t come to Congress to impeach the President.

Even when he separated babies from their parents at the border or took money from our troops to build his wall.

The Constitution is my guide in this process and that’s why I urge my colleagues to vote to #ImpeachTrump.

– Tweet from Rep Slvia Garcia (Tx-29)

This was the message from congressional rep. Sylvia Garcia during the vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump.

This could easily be rephrased to, “I did nothing when the fascist president committed infanticide against brown people.”

This is the modern Democratic Party. These are the people who need to be primaried by socialists if we ever want the Democratic Party to ever be truly democratic.

Sylvia Garcia’s obtuse remarks eptiomizes the cognative dissonence of the capitalists in the Democratic Party. Garcia publicly admits, on the most forward facing form of social media, that she was not bothered when children were separated from parents or that state violence was enforced at the border.

No, what offended her was Trump sneezing in the general direction of Joe Biden’s son.

Representative Garcia, I say these words to you.

You are more concerned with defending the racists in your own ranks than with attack the systemic realities that enable Trump’s racism.

And yes, I dont care that he was VP to the first black president, Joe Biden is a mush mouthed racist and we all fucking know it. You are not a hero to racial justice if you work with segregationists, period. Yet you are leaping to the defense of the Biden’s all while belittling the deaths of brown children, all of whose blood is on Donald Trumps hands.

But for some reason, that was not enough to get you off your ass to do something. Going after Joe Biden though…

To hell with Sylvia Garcia. To hell with the capitalists “representing” us in congress. If we want the party to trully care about the working class, we need to purge the party of the likes of Sylvia Garcia.

Fuck you Sylvia Garcia.

Occupy The White House, The Decade of Resistance

The election of Bernie Sanders would not just be a boom for democracy, it would be the ultimate and final victory of the Occupy movement.

The 2010s were a decade that was defined by Occupy, the camp beginning in 2010 and its effects carrying on well into 2011 as well as the beginning of the Arab Spring all laid the foundation for a decade to be defined by protest. In 2011 Time Magazine called “The Protester,” the person of the year.

Despite the collapse of Occupy due to structurlessness, police raids, and undercover police infiltration, the sentiment of Occupy has flourished.

The rhetoric of the 99% vs the 1% has carried into the 2020 race for the presidency.

The entire decade has been filled with revolt and revolution across the globe. Syria, Haiti, Chile, Zimbabwe, France, and several other countries have seen huge scale demonstrations of public dissent.

The election of Donald Trump was followed by a wave of people filling the streets chanting “Not my President,” and the number of different marches all rejecting his agenda, such as the March for Science, the Tax March, the Women’s March, and the Still Here Still Trans marches, all continued well into his first two years in office.

Occupy went from being a fringe protest to a global movement almost overnight, and sometimes it feels like the movement ended as quickly as it began. However the movement never really ended, it just shifted gears.

Now it has the chance to achieve it’s ultimate validation in a Bernie Sanders presidency.

Bernie Sanders was the only person serving in congress at the time to acknowledge Occupy Wall Street, not only was he the only one to acknowledge us, and he was the only one who would stand by us.

Bernie Sanders has also said he wants to be “the organizer in chief.” Which reminds me of the core sentiment of Occupy, we were not actually a “leaderless” movement, we were a movement of leaders.

The election of Bernie Sanders in 2020 would be the ultimate conclusion to the Occupy Decade. We will have gone from occupying Zuccoti Park to controlling the country. We cannot forsake this chance to over take the 1% masters of capital.

This is our decade, the time of the people, the decade of the 99%, the era of occupy, and we will conclude this era by taking what is ours.

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