Yes Bernie Is Pissed Off, That’s Why I Like Him

Everytime I see a pundit on CNN or MSNBC they talk about how Bernie is either an undesirable candidate because he is “too angry.”

I get particuallarly annoyed by these people for a number of reasons, one of the biggest being that they aren’t more angry at the system and powers that be.

You liberals talk of big game about “resistance” and “dumping Trump” yet you seem to think civility towards the enemy is more important than calling them out with righteous outrage. Do not forget this is an enemy that wants all non-whites and non-christians dead, by the way!

What also annoys me is that these people are clearly making a comfortable living going onto these “news” networks and talking all this shit, while the rest of us are left homeless, in debt, or hungry. Unlike them we have to actually work for our living and we are barely even living!

What annoys me most though, is the fact that Bernie is not just an angry old man, but that is what they are trying to sell him as to us.

He isn’t screaming at kids to get off his lawn or telling them to turn down the rap music. He isn’t complaining about slang or whining about inevitable change, unlike some other old white men candidates (cough cough Joe Biden cough).

Bernie is not just angry, he lives and works with a righteous anger, and he is damn right to be angry.

Liberals talk about how outraged they are about kids in cages, about racism and sexism and so forth, but if witnessing the autrocities of our system and does not fill you with rage, then I think that says alot more about what a shallow asshole you are than it could ever say anything about Bernie.

I think that if you claim to be anti Trump but are not filled with rage by what his policies reap, then you don’t actually care about others, you just want to be seen as if you care. You don’t actually want to do the work it takes to be anti Trump, you just want to be validated as such.

If you challenge Trump without challenging your own sense of identity and privilege then you have no business telling Sander’s supporters anything, period.

These pundits can’t understand why Bernie is so mad, and why would they? They live in comfort and get paid to just talk for a living while the rest of us are out here trying to organize to save the planet, to protect ourselves at work, to stand up against racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism, and we do so all while we are trying to pay our debts and rents and to eat.

We are trying to do all of that while trying to liberate our immigrant and black and brown friends and family from the clutches of the American police state.

Bernie is to.

He sees us. He sees human suffering, and that makes him furious, as it should.

If you cannot understand why Bernie is so angry then you are one of the reasons why he is so angry. You are one of the people who perpetuates a system that is built on pain, suffering, and exploitation.

If Bernie’s anger bothers you, then I question your integrity. Anyone who is not filled with fury by the state of human suffering in this world is not someone who I think can ever be called a good person.

Yes, Bernie is angry, he is angry that people, like pundits, will let human’s suffer, and I love that old son of a bitch for it!

#Bernie2020 #NotMeUs

What The ‘Democratic’ in DSA Actually Means

In a recent article In These Times editor Joel Bliefuss commented on the Democratic Socialists of America’s 2019 Convention. Bliefuss summarizes some of the tensions people felt going into the convention but concludes that things are looking optimistic for the organization. Bliefuss also pays particular attention to one of the resolutions passed by the convention’s delegates, the “Class Struggle Elections” resolution. The language of the resolution commits DSA to centralize class and labor solidarity in our electoral work henceforth.

While the article maintains an overall positive tone about the DSA convention Bliefuss misinterprets the language of the resolution and as someone who served as a delegate at this convention and supported this resolution I must correct this misinterpretation.

Bliefuss summarizes the majority of the resolution correctly, his misinterpretation focuses on one piece of language from the resolution:

“The resolution included a caveat that says DSA’s ultimate goal is to break with the Democrats “and their capitalist donors,” and “form an independent working-class party,” rather than reform the party from within.

A new party? It’s socialist Dems who are already changing the nation’s political conversation…”

Bliefuss is interpreting the language to mean that DSA is moving to break with the Democratic party as a whole with this resolution, this is not the case. There is truth in that the DSA is often arguing amongst ourselves about how much we want to get involved with the Democratic party, but the language “form an independant working class party” does not mean “DSA is going to become a third party.” And our “break” with Democrats “and their capitalist donors” means we seek to do things 1. Differentiate democratic socialist candidates from liberal democrats and 2. break with the capitalist element of the Democratic Party. Blieffuss’s analysis reflects that he interprets a break with capitalist democrats to mean a break with the democratic party all together, this misinterpretation comes from a place that hyperbolizes the language of the resolution.

The language in this part of the resolution is very general and open to interpretation, which I think lends itself to Bliefuss’ hyperbole. However as a delegate I feel the language was kept general for a good reason, it is too early for DSA to decide to form it’s own party, any third party with less than a million active, dues paying members is doomed to fail in the United States.

The language of this resolution allows us flexibility, and gives us the chance to decide for ourselves how we want to build an independent working class party. We have multiple options, the two most likely being we can either take over the democratic party by filling it with socialist delegates and abolishing its anti-democratic safe guards such as the super delegates, or we can wait for the Democratic party to collapse on itself while we build DSA to the point where we can become the new party of the working class.

The author then goes on to cite the various other DSA members and endorsed candidates who have won elections recently, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, most of whom ran and won their elections as democrats. Bliefuss’s conclusion about their success stories is however mistaken. “Most of these pols have run as Democrats (without “capitalist donors”) and won by turning out registered Democratic voters.”

This is a misconception of the current political landscape. It was not just a matter of motivating the democratic party base, most of whom will vote for the democrat’s candidate no matter who is running, these candidates won by motivating the unmotivated, by pulling in non voters and giving them a reason to vote.

While the article is mostly complimentary and attempts to paint the DSA and our convention in an overall positive light, Bliefuss misinterprets one of the conventions most important resolutions and uses a disprovable argument to justify his interpretation. He does not misinterpret the whole resolution, but he does make over generalizations about one, very small, caveat of the resolution. DSA did not resolve to become a third party, we resolved to create a working class party, what that will look like will be for the organization to decide as it marches into the future.

Love Trumps Hate, Unless You Are Bernie Sanders

Recently Bernie Sanders underwent an immediate operation to unclog an artery and have a stent put in.

When it was announced his campaign was suspending events until his recovery, the #StillwithHer & #LoveTrumpsHate sphere of twitter did not hesitate to show their true colors despite the fact that their great leader, Warren, was incredibly gracious and supportive to both Bernie Sanders and his staff when the news of his operation broke. As much as I criticize Warren I extend my compliments to her, that was a cool thing to do.

It was much cooler than how her following handled the news.

“Hope the old bastard dies.” Tweeted more than one enthusiastic Warren supporter.

Others tweeted the equivalence to this:

Others still wished him well but did not hesitate to show their ablism and agism in the process:

Others were just got plain idiotic, weird, even sociopathic:

And others are convinced that the Sander’s campaign is conspiring to downplay things:

The funniest part about this is that many of these people commented that his campaign was done and that he was as good as dead before the news broke that Bernie has once again passed a fundraising record, over $25 million in donations for the the 3rd quarter of 2019, all of them small personal donations.

Bernie has once again emerged with his head held higher than ever before over the clamor of his idiotic opposition. Not only is he recovering speedily but he is resuming his campaigning as if nothing had happened, and the memes have just been cranking out ever since.

What I take most from all of this was how the event once again put the hypocrisy of liberals on display. The same group that is claiming to want to see a united country, the people who have been begging for civility in this election because they fear how polarization will force them to confront their privilege, they were either celebrating a man’s possible death, or they were making ridiculous conjectures with no actual source of information, a very “Fox News” move of you, liberals.

These are the same people who decry the baseless faux news of Fox, who cry foul whenever Donald Trump sneezes on twitter. They talk about equality and post rainbow flags on their profile during pride month. They will say black lives matter and call Greta Thunberg a hero, but do not be fooled.

These are the people who make up the core base of the democratic party. They are the people who are holding the left back more than our reactionary capitalist oppressors ever could because they are the road blocks to making things like the democratic party truly left and truly democratic. No one wants to be associated with hypocritical idiots like these, no one wants to join a party with people like these in its ranks.

Bernie is about motivating the unmotivated, his tactic is to give the non voters a reason to vote. Bernie is still the most popular candidate amongst no party preference voters, the largest voter demographic in the country. Warren can count her popularity amongst loyal democrats, and folks, these tweets are from the people who are loyal democrats.

I am a registered democrat, this is true, but the only reason I reregistered as a democrat was to make sure I could vote for Bernie in 2016 and I shall do so again in 2020. That said, he level of “cringe” that it makes me feel is beyond words, and that feeling is caused because as a socialist I believe in humanity and in responding to the material needs of the masses, not to be loyal to any individual elected official.

The True Left is socialists, anarchists, and communists. We put humanity first, there is no humanity in any of these tweets. We challenge ourselves and force ourselves to confront our internalized sexism, racism, homophobia, and yes even our internalized ablism and agism. The problem with liberal democrats is that they refuse to confront these things, both in themselves and in the system. Because they refuse to challenge their own internalized ways of thinking, it leads to bullshit like this, it leads to people who will preach “give peace a chance” while conjecturing about the death of one of the most integral, hardest working public servants in U.S. history.

I registered democrat so I could vote for Bernie, but my loyalty is only to the people who Bernie’s platform will help, not the party and not even Bernie himself. My loyalty will never be to the democratic party so long as these people are its base. As socialists we must either take over the democratic party and purge its problematic elements, or we must build our own organizations to the point that we can have a viable alternative to the democratic party that is not a just another third party fringe slate. Whatever the case, what we need is a mass movement socialist party.

Bernie Sanders still has my vote, and liberals have once again furthered my distain for their ideology. May the heart of Bernie Sanders and the rhythm of our movement beat on! #NotmeUs

Sacramento County Board Member Susan Peters, An Unethical Legacy

Sacramento County Board member Susan Peters, a republican, has announced she will not seek reelection in 2020, effectively ending her 15 year tenure on the board.

Unknown to many, Susan Peters was fined just short of $10,000 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission in 2016. Her crime? She voted on property development that she had an invested interest in.

The Mather Air Force Base closed for operations in the early 1990s and has since provided an economic boom for Sacramento developers, especially McCuen Properties. McCuen is the company started by Peters’ late husband Peter Mcuen and has been recipient of numerous landmark development projects, including the Ziggurat Office building pyramid and US Bank Plaza, now known as Park Tower Plaza.

The FPPC found that Peters was in violation of conflict of interest laws because she voted on the development of Mather projects. Apparently Peters owns property effected directly by her votes on the county board.

Case documents for FPPC No. 14/611 describes the nature of the charges as such;

COUNT 1: Abatement and Demolition: Direct Effect
Peters violated the Act by voting in favor of demolishing buildings within 500 feet of property she owned.

COUNT 2: Conveyance of Land from U.S. Air Force; Direct and Indirect Effects

Peters violated the Act by voting twice regarding the conveyance of land also within 500 feet of her realty properties.

Now, neither of these charges sound very exciting and clearly not much came from them considering the fact that Peters is still in office and that the most exposure this case received was a single story in The Sacramento Bee in 2016. There was also an incredibly short follow-up by The Bee in November of the same year when the fine was paid and the matter closed.  

However, what is interesting about the situation is how much of Susan Peters’ investments have gone unscrutinized.

Though Peters has paid her fine, questions about her ethics record remain. For example, the case does not go into detail about the amount of money that McCuen Properties has made on the Mather Air Force Base Project, nor on other projects for which they have received contracts during Peters’ tenure with the county board. Now, why should we care about one property company profiting off of county board decisions? Because, according to FPPC case documents, Peters was still a partner to the business as late as 2015. There is also no info on how many other pieces of land Peters owns within the county. Peters did not admit to any intentional wrongdoing and has recused herself from voting on issues regarding redevelopment of Mather’s Air Force Base but has said little about her current stake in McCuen Properties.

In other words, Peters might be lying about how much of a financial interest she has in Sacramento County. Peters disclosed her financial holdings at the time of the investigation to the FPPC, which can be reviewed easily online. Aside from her personal holdings in McCuen, in 2015 she held stock in numerous corporations, including; ADT Security, Apple Inc. Costco, Ford, International Papers, Marriott Hotels, Lowes, McDonalds, 20th Century Fox, Oracle, Pepsico.  The records also show stakes in insurance pharmaceutical companies Bristol Myers Squibb and Cardinal Healthcare.

This list is not even remotely comprehensive. I do not want to imagine how many deals have come before the county board that either directly or indirectly benefited these corporations and the others she holds stock in.

So, what is to be gathered from the fact Susan Peters paid nearly $10,000 in ethics fines to the FPPC?

Well, for one thing, McCuen Properties, which according to FPPC records she was still a partner of as late as 2015, receives millions of dollars from development contracts from Sacramento city and county. Peters has since claimed that she recused herself from votes regarding the redevelopment of the Mather Air Force Base, but is this enough? Can someone who clearly has invested interests in so many corporations be trusted to recuse themselves completely? How many other times have there been votes by the county that directly affect the profits of McCuen properties? How much property does she own personally? There is no way to tell.

What this whole case means is that a capitalist property developer can be caught in an ethics violation, arguably effective in the range of millions of dollars, and only be charged a few dollars in fines while never being forced to publicly admit to wrongdoing.  

When asked if she was still a shareholder, no one from McCuen Properties responded. When Peters’ office was contacted with the same question via email her chief of staff, Howard Schmidt, referred me to the same FPPC documents I had already read.

Schmidt has also confirmed that Susan Peters will in-fact not seek reelection in 2020.

Sources Cited

  1. http://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/documents/form700/2012/County/N-Z/R_Peters_Susan.pdf

  2. http://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/documents/form700/2015/County/sub1/R_Peters_Susan.pdf

  3. http://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/documents/Stipulations/2016/November/09%20Susan%20Peters%20-%20Stip%20and%20Exh.pdf

  4. http://www.sacbee.com/news/investigations/the-public-eye/article76322172.html

  5. http://www.fppc.ca.gov/news/political-watchdog-approves-fines-against-Sacramento-County-officials.html

Alyssa Milano Isn’t Just Toxic, She is a F***ing Idiot

Anyone who is a genuine leftist and not a McResistance liberal is well aware that Alyssa Milano is beyond problematic.

Her attitude is that Trump is the cause of all our problems. She perpetuates the myth that the racism and sexism we see so explicitly now was not a problem before his election.

She supports Joe Biden, the worst possible choice to run against Trump. Not only does she support him but she defends his support of the Hyde Amendment, and she does it while still pretending to be a champion of choice.

Lastly, let us not forget the moronic “sex strike” which belittled both women’s sexualities and the power that is strike action.

Her latest feat was getting an audience with the anti-choice, porn retweeting, disgusting monster that is Senator Ted Cruz. Her method for confronting Cruz was, well pretty non confrontational to be honest.

“I wanted to look you in the eye and know you really are a human, with a heartbeat.” Milano said to Cruz.

Now, I feel this is proof that Milano is not just toxic to the left’s cause, it proves she is also a fucking idiot.

What the hell was she trying to accomplish here? I genuinely cannot figure it out.

If she was trying to get Cruz to see the light, that is a lost cause. Ted Cruz is hopeless, period. If she was trying to humiliate or own Cruz, she did an awful job. The two of them come across like they have more in-common than not. If she was trying to call out Ted Cruz, she failed at that miserably. All she did was put a humanized face on the man who has attacked women’s choice so violently, so relentlessly.

I honestly think that Milano had no idea what she was doing. I don’t think even she knew what she wanted to accomplish from this meeting. Alyssa Milano has no sense of what or how these issues actually effect the working class. She is too privilege, too rich, too out of touch to be a voice for the people.

If you “Yas Queen” Alyssa Milano for this or any other reason you are just as much of a moron as she is. No self respecting pro-choice activist would give Ted Cruz their time or emotional labor, hell no self respecting human would give Ted Cruz the time of day!

So in conclusion, I hope you will all join me in telling Alyssa Milano and her pussy hat liberal following to fuck off so that the True Left can get some real work done and actually help women and the oppressed.

Electoralism and Reformism Are Not The Same Thing

Because one participates in organizing for electoral politics does not mean one has put all their faith in reform.

Some treat electoralism as a form of base building, and given the current political landscape it is the kind of base building that can reach the most people in the fastest way.

However, just because one is supporting a candidate or ballot measure does not mean they have put all their hopes in changing the system that way.

Reformists believe in changing the system from the inside.  Electoralists understand however understand that change is unlikely to happen from the outside without massive public pressure that is also rank and file.   Electoralists understand that elections can be used to base build and can chip away at the power of capital in one is both victorious and consistent after that victory. For example, a reactionary anti woman republican will have a much harder time gutting abortion rights or taking away welfare if he has to worry about losing his seat to a socialist, and when he loses his seat they must live with the reality that a socialist is now in office making policy decisions.

Of course, one cannot depend on that socialist in office alone to make all the right decisions, not without a huge base constantly putting pressure on them to do the right thing.

If that elected socialist demonstrates good practice they will push for policies that direct power away from capital and expand social services. The odds of them going full Lenin and leading us to a revolution are microscopically slim, but their base can now be called on to show up for strike solidarity and anti racist protests. They can be called on to pressure and bird-dog other elected officials to act on climate change.

This is not what reformists believe.  Pure reformists believe that we can count on elected officials to do their jobs once elected.  There is no room for an interest in base building for a revolution if one is counting on reform alone to liberate the working class.  Reformists only care about the bottom line, but electoralists know that they can use the base they have built from the campaign they have organized to build a genuine alternative to the capitalist system.

To reject electoralism because of a false equivalency to reformism hurts us more than it will help.

Plus, more elections should be what ever socialists push for. We need more elections, more mass participation, more things should be put to a public vote. The more we are voting the more we are in control of our communities. This is the goal of socialism and communism, democratic control over what affects our daily lives, that is going to mean lots of voting in lots of elections.

Another world is possible, but we need to get our practice in now. Until we have a mass movement behind us, we have no other choice than to build our base any way we can.

Undemocratic, A Word Not To Be Taken Lightly

As an active DSA member I hear this word all the time, almost as much as I hear the words “organizing” and “socialism.”  I think active leftists in all organizations can relate to this, but I think the attack of something being “undemocratic” is overused.

Now I am not suggesting in any way we not call out undemocratic behavior, what I am saying is we need to acknowledge that being called “undemocratic” is the heaviest attack you can lay against someone in an organization that is supposed to be democratic.  That is not something to take lightly.

Behavior that is genuinely undemocratic is something that an elected official does not have the authority to do or is an action that goes out of its way to side step democratic procedures.  That does not stop people from throwing the term around when a comrade does something that they simply do not agree with.

Most of the time what is called ‘undemocratic behavior’ is actually just people disagreeing with how something was done, or it is people letting personal differences effect their outlook on what is good for their organization. If we attack every single thing or person we disagree with as ‘undemocratic’ then the word will lose all meaning.  It will be a boy who called wolf situation, the moment we actually have to face the consequences of someone doing something undemocratic we will be ill prepared to handle it.

An action is only undemocratic if it goes out of its way to defy democratic principles, unless it is intentionally sidestepping the consent or consensus of the voting body, the odds are it was not “undemocratic.”

I am not saying hold your tongue when you see genuinely undemocratic behavior, all I am asking is that people remember that in organizations that pride themselves on democracy, it is not a term to be taken lightly.