How Comey Conned the Cons

“A good prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich” Sol Wachtler

Hillary Dumpty

Imagine you are James Comey and you are told by your superiors (in this case the Attorney General Loretta Lynch) in no uncertain terms that you are not to recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton.  The fix is in, the case is rigged; the system is corrupt.  We all know this by now, unless you are a driveling idiot or some dumb-ass pseudo-Progressive with head in the sand who supports Hillary Clinton.  You have spent the last year or so carefully building and ironclad case.  What do you do?

There were two options: one, to do the right thing; defy your superiors and hand them a recommendation to indict the most corrupt Secretary of State in American History.  This would cause Hillary Clinton to bow out of the Presidential race and Bernie Sanders becomes nominated the Democratic Presidential candidate.  The other is, you do as told, betray all professional integrity and allow the equivalent of a Mafia Don to run for the most powerful political position in the world. We now know that Comey took the second course, paving the way for Crooked Hillary to be the “presumptive” nominee.  The 94 dollar question is: why?

BILL & HILL MAKE BONNIE & CLYDE LOOK LIKE PENNYANTE CROOKS

Several answers come to mind.  First, you want to retain your job and would prefer not to end it prematurely, even if you do it by blackening your own reputation in the law enforcement world.  The last time someone stuck by their prosecutorial guns was during Watergate, the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” when the Special Prosecutor investigating Nixon’s wrong-doing got too close to the truth and Nixon ordered him fired: the Attorney General refused and he was fired as well.  But for all his wrongdoing, President Nixon was not 1/100th as corrupt as Hillary Clinton, nor as rich, nor as powerful. It is also possible that Slick Willie at that airport meeting threatened Loretta Lynch with some juicy blackmail if his boss Hillary didn’t get off; the blackmail certainly extended throughout the Obama administration and perhaps to the FBI as well.

Secondly, Comey, if you do do the right thing and recommend prosecution, you, a Republican, will have just handed the Presidency to the Democrats.  Hillary Clinton, who is so incompetent she couldn’t even type a simple email without violating the Espionage Act, has only managed to stay ahead of outsider Sanders in the primaries by outrageously overt cheating that a first grader could recognize.  Unfortunately, these days we have reporters who do a worse job of reporting the news than a first grader could do.

Handing the nomination to an HONEST Democratic candidate like Sanders will mean Bozo the Billionaire Trump’s candidacy will go down in flames, and as much as the GOP hates him, they lust after power more.  So give the fools in the DNC and the White House what they want: Hillary gets a pass, a get out of jail free card, and the Republicans will likely win the White House.

BILL & HILL CON ARTISTS

But notice what Comey did, that devious little devil: he prefaced his whitewash with a virtual catalog of all the indictable offenses Hillary committed with regard to the Private Email servers.  Comey did not recommend prosecution, true, but he made it clear to anyone who is not a Hillary troll that she was GUILTY AS HELL.  Now, if the Democratic Party had an ounce of integrity left–Hell, an ounce of common sense left–they would dump Hillary Clinton at the Convention on July 25 and go with the one man who represents all the things the Democratic Party stood for before the Clintons and the NeoLiberals corrupted it–the FDR New Deal programs that made postwar America the most powerful, most prosperous nation on earth.  So Hillary gets her nomination and will struggle to stay even with Trump the Billionaire Buffoon; and if the polls go too far in her favor, Comey’s people have a mountain of incriminating documents ready to leak to the press at any time.

Moreover, if by some miracle Hillary, the Capo di Tutti Capi, does win the Presidency, everyone seems to have forgotten the reason Hillary put all her communications on the Private Server to start with: to hide the BILLIONS of dollars worth of graft that she funneled through the CLINTON FOUNDATION.  The reason the FBI criminal investigation has taken so long is that they have been following all the threads of corruption outward from the emails to the pay for play graft that Hillary was at the center of.

Clinton Inauguration Day

The Emails are like the tip of an ice-burg visible above the waterline; the bulk of her illegal activities have been hidden in that pseudo nonprofit and they all revolve around the complex money laundering schemes of the Clinton Foundation. My guess is that not only the Clinton Crime Family will go down once the Foundation’s crooked dealings are exposed, but most of the Party Establishment as well.  If Hillary gets into office, the hearings and investigations leading to her impeachment will make Watergate look tame by comparison.

Convict Hillary

There is a Chinese proverb: be careful of what you wish for; you just may get it.  FBI Director Comey has given the corrupt Democratic Party Establishment exactly what they wanted: now watch them choke on it.

Hillary_Queen_Peasants_C4P

 

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WHAT IS A POLITICAL CONVENTION FOR IF NOT TO CHOOSE A CANDIDATE?

Hillary Dumpty

The question of what is the purpose of a political convention may seem a trifle simplistic to modern media pundits, but as three generations of teachers—and Democrats—in my family were want to say, there are no stupid questions; just stupid answers.  So to all the politically savvy “experts” in the media and the Democratic political establishment nationwide, I recommend that you seriously consider—or reconsider—your own answer to this question, as well as my own answer below.

Thomas Nast dead elephant and Donkey over cliff
The GOP is a dying beast but can still do great harm; meanwhile, the Democratic Party establishment seems bound and determined to follow Hillary Clinton over the precipice.  Their convention in July is the place to correct their mistake.

For a number of years, the presidential convention has simply been one giant publicity event, a raucous but essentially meaningless cheerleading rally for the pre-anointed candidate of the respective political party.  We now have a prolonged and incredibly expensive process for selecting a presidential candidate, a process which is neither designed to choose the best possible person for the job, nor even the most electable candidate; and if the current Democratic Presidential nominating process is any guide, it is also not reflective of the wishes of the rank and file members of that political party, but the cynical will of a small circle of political bosses and their financial handlers.  

Traditionally, the purpose of a presidential political convention has been to select a candidate; how the candidate was chosen has varied over the years, but in essence the convention was the medium through which this was done.  Caucus, primary or smoke filled room have all been methods for selecting a suitable candidate; but the purpose has always been to choose the best person for the job, not to acquiesce to the political operative most acceptable to the billionaire class.

 

Hurricane image royalty free
The Democratic Party is traveling straight into the Perfect Storm with #CrookedHillary and can’t see it.  Only the nomination of Bernie Sanders can save the day.

Since the late 1970’s, the leadership of the Democratic Party—the party of Jefferson and Jackson, the party of the common man, the working man—has transformed it into a “me too” party, mimicking the Republican Party, perhaps a little less austere and still giving lip service to American workers but in fact undermining them at every turn, but has been gradually abandoning the values of FDR and the New Deal, the very programs and values that had made the Democratic Party the dominant political party for half a century; the programs and policies that had not only reformed a broken economic system, but ushered in an era of unprecedented prosperity for most Americans. 

Mind you, the wealthy also benefited from the economic programs of the New Deal, since we are a consumer economy and the more money American workers have, the more they spend. 

The reverse, however, is not true: giving the wealthy undeserved tax breaks and various “corporate welfare” schemes to not result in wealth trickling down to the American worker.  They never have and never will: Trickle Down economics, or whatever label you rebrand it with, is a proven failure and just a con to rob the middle class of their wealth and transfer it to the top 1%.  What is a billion dollars in political contributions when it will return you in 100 billion in tax breaks, government subsidies and assorted outsourcing and off-shoring schemes?

 

Stuffing-The-Ballot-Box
The only way Hillary has gotten the primary wins she has was by out and out cheating.

 

Bernie Sanders portrays himself as a “Democratic Socialist” and that is fine if he wishes to characterize his solid New Deal derived programs and policies in those terms.  Perhaps all these years the Democratic Party should have been more forthright to the American people about all those “socialistic” programs which created wealth and prosperity in this country.  Those programs, and a strong Union movement, created the record postwar prosperity we enjoyed between 1945 and into the 1970’s.  Perhaps then the Repugnican NeoCons would never have gotten to first base with their vile economic voodoo even in the Republican Party. 

 

Now both the GOP NeoCons and the DINO Democrat NeoLibs are attacking Social Security and Medicare as “entitlement programs” that need to be cut to balance the budget.  Even Ronald Reagan laid it out in simple terms that, while Social Security is technically in the Federal Budget, it DOES NOT contribute to the deficit; it is fully funded by the American people and their employers. YES IT IS AN ENTITLEMENT: YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THAT MONEY BECAUSE YOU PAID INTO IT YOUR ENTIRE WORKING LIFE, NOT THE BILLIONAIRES!  However, every American should be aware that over the years Social Security has been raided by the Republicans and some Dems as a giant slush fund to finance Billionaire tax cuts and otherwise unfunded wars (like Hillary’s Iraq War).  So, no Social Security is not “going broke” but the Billionaires and their Congressional toadies have been stealing from the till and need to put the money back,

Reagan Defending Social Security: reagan

Bernie Sanders Defends Social Security

bernie-sanderssmiling
Why is this man smiling? Guess.

However, to learn what the Repugnicans and the NeoLib Democrats have been doing with your Social Security money, listen to this radio show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqxMCjZxXYM

 

Hillary Clinton is a DINO—a Democrat In Name Only—and she and her fillandering husband have worked very hard to transform the Democratic Party in the Republican Light Party.  Even many progressives in the party—and they are fewer every year—are largely afraid to cross the Clinton Crime Family or run too strongly against the NeoLiberal lies that the Clinton organization has made the new party dogma.

 

Delacroix Liberty at the Barricades
aux la barricades in July and take the Democratic Party back from the Oligarchs, America.

 

The Democratic Party needs to get back to its roots; nominate Bernie Sanders, move heaven and earth to get money out of politics and push through financial reforms and all the regulations that were put in place after the “free market” bankrupted America.  The only reason these safeguards were removed was because of sheer greed.  During World War II, FDR proposed a Second Bill of Rights, also known as the Economic Bill of Rights.  Call it Socialism if you wish—but bear in mind the Pilgrims and the Puritans were socialists too and they never heard of Karl Marx.  Karl & Abe Book

 

Needless to say, all the phony trade treaties like NAFTA, the TPP and the upcoming TTIP and some 45 or so other scams to benefit multi-national corporations all need to be repealed and renegotiated into FAIR TRADE plans, where corporations are excluded and American workers benefited.  Then, and only then, can this nation come back from the precipice and begin to return to a prosperous and just society.

 

Unless the Democratic Natonal Convention in July does its true duty and nominate Bernie Sanders as their standard bearer, our nation is headed for an even bigger financial collapse than we experienced in 2008.  Hillary Clinton is a large part of the problem—her and the Republican NeoCons—and it is hard to say which would be worse, her or Trunp.  If Hillary is nominated, there is a strong chance the Democratic Party will go down to defeat; if she wins, it is almost certain she will be impeached.  Whatever vestige of Democracy we have is on the verge of disappearance.  The Democratic Convention can reverse this dangerous situation, but not if it nominates the worst candidate they have had since the era of Boss Tweed.

Hillary vs Bernie on Panama Trade Agreement

 

DON’T CRY FOR ME EAST L.A.

THE TRUTH IS YOU NEVER KNEW ME…

Hillary as Evita

Her Royal Highness Hillary flew in to Los Angeles today, less to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and more to grab wads of cash from wealthy Angelinos, in between a stop to speak to Hispanics at a local college.  Apparently, because Her Highness carries hot sauce (allegedly) in her handbag, she feels entitled to the Latino vote.

Not all Americans of Hispanic descent welcomed the new Evita Peron to their fair city however.  Several Latin American groups in Los Angeles find plenty not to like about the  former Secretary of State and planned to protest her Cinco de Mayo visit to East Los Angeles College.

Organizers protesting Her Majesty Hillary’s visit include Union del Barrio-LA, MEXA de ELAC and the Los Angeles Brown Beret.  In a communique they “call on the L.A. community to join us this Thursday to tell Hillary that she is NOT WELCOMED in L.A.!”

Organizers called Clinton an enemy of the working class. They also argue that her Central American policies as secretary of state caused death, destruction and deportation.  While Secretary of State, Clinton condoned a coup d’état in Honduras and then refused to take action against the military dictatorship.  Pretending to be for women and children to American voters, Hillary has covered up the gang rape and murder of women and children in the Central American country, in part because a multi-national with ties to the Clinton Foundation wants to build a giant damn on native lands.

The demonstrators plan to gather at Belvedere Park in East Los Angeles at 3 p.m. and then march on the community college men’s gym two blocks away, where Clinton is scheduled to address supporters.

American Evita

 

IF YOU STRIKE ME DOWN….

Bernie Wan Kanobi

After the brazen voting fraud displayed in the New York Primary, it was a foregone conclusion that the Clinton Machine would pull out all the stops to cheat their way to victory on the April 27 “Super Tuesday”  (It seems like Super Tuesdays are becoming more frequent than “Trials of the Century.”). The signs were all there in Pennsylvania that the same criminal behavior Hillary’s minions practiced in the Big Apple would be on display in PA: forged absentee ballots, hacked electronic voting machines, mysteriously purged voter rolls.  Yesterday, one county alone had 900 registered Democrats “missing” on election day; another district had Hillary Clinton handbills on prominent display inside the polling place–that was caught on video–and the poll workers refused to remove the deceptive ads, which were made to look like paper ballots.

hillary_queen_usa

Queen Hillary’s coronation seems virtually assured, at least that is what all the corporate media pundits keep telling us.  In her arrogance, however, Wall Street Hillary, when asked whether she would meet the Sanders people “halfway” and adopt some of their reform agenda, shut down any talk of compromise.  She wants Sen. Sanders to bend the knee and pledge unquestioned allegiance to her and turn over her forces, “for the sake of party loyalty.”

You would think, at the very least, that by now Hillary and her Corporatist lackeys would have grasped what the Sanders Campaign is all about, even if they hated what it stood for.  While we all admire Bernie Sanders for his integrity and honesty, he has not attracted the mass following that he has simply on that alone.  Nor can his popularity be attributed to his charisma or youthful good looks.  No: first and foremost, people have responded to his message of reform and progress.

Bernie Sanders agenda is not just about breaking up the big banks and bringing the Banksters to account for their crimes: but also to create more & better paying  jobs; taking money out of the election process and protecting voting rights; stopping the TPP and repeal the other phony free trade deals that have savaged our economy; universal health care; strengthen and enlarge Social Security; free public university education; rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure; make primary and secondary public education public again and not a “profit center” for corporations; end the “Prison Industrial Complex” and stop imprisoning minority groups for petty infractions of the law; the list goes on and on.  As Bernie has emphasized over and over, this is not about one person or one election.  It is about a fundamental reform of America, a nation which has been ravaged by the bad economics of the GOP and their DINO allies in the Democratic Party ever since the 1980’s.

Occupy Deathstar
Occupy Deathstar Protesters

 

Hillary Clinton’s greed for Corporatist money is only exceeded by her lust for power.  Her and the DINO establishment, who have lost far more elections than they have ever won, cannot fathom, it seems, that Bernie Sanders is running on principles, not for personal gain.  Even if he were to sell out his ideals, simply for some political appointment, his mass movement will not troop along dociley and tow the Corporatist line, as Hillary and the other corrupt Establishment Dems want.

Help Us Bernie-wan

While there are still several primaries to go and it is still important for every reform minded individual to still turn out and vote for Bernie, we all need to recognize that the Sanders candidacy is not the end, but the end of the beginning (as Churchill once put it)!

Mark my words, there is a bitter convention fight looming, not for the nomination, but for the reform planks that Sen. Sanders advocates to be put into the Democratic Platform.

Wall Street Hillary’s backers do not want any genuine reforming of the financial system, or of the corrupt electoral process that they control, not to mention any of the other Progressive planks we so desperately need enacted.  The DINO’s will fight tooth and nail to keep any real and meaningful reform planks out of the platform.  Hillary wants nice sounding nostrums, to be sure; and she will promptly betray even those if elected. But any serious and sincere programs of Progressive reform, reforms that the American electorate could get behind? Oh No, God forbid that her real constituency, the 1% that is in currently in control of both parties, should be offended by the Democratic Party Platform.

Delacroix Liberty at the Barricades
La Lutte Continue!

 

After the Democratic Convention, whatever its outcome, all those who have united behind the banner of Bernie Sanders must realize that the real work, the real struggle, the real campaign, has only just begun.

 

 

 

 

The Empire struck back yesterday.  They will continue to do so all through this electoral year and beyond.  Through all of their evil machinations in BOTH parties, remember, we are a Rebel alliance, not just one man and not just one race.

Bernie_wan_Kenobi
The Rebel Alliance needs YOU!

 

There will be other battles ahead and new Jedi Gekkai of all ages, races, genders and creeds will be needed to succeed.  Perhaps even new political parties will be needed to break the stranglehold that the Corporatists have on on our nation–on the world–and if that is what it takes, that is what it takes.  The Republican Party, which was once a party of social justice and economic reform, was begun by handful of idealists gathering in a one room schoolhouse.

Fighting Bernie

The road is long, the road is hard, but the destination is worth the effort.

Yoda & Darth HILLARY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Force of Progress be with you.

FRAUD IN WYOMING FLIPS IT TO CLINTON

ballot-box-thumb1
Caucuses do not normally allow absentee voting, yet in Wyoming hundreds of “surrogate” ballots appeared magically on caucus day.

 

Although the mainstream media covered Senator Sanders landslide win in Wyoming and the subsequent skewed delegate apportionment in favor of Hillary Clinton, what is not being covered is the emerging evidence of egregious vote manipulation and fraud by the Clinton Machine.

Senator Sanders racked up an impressive 56% win to Clinton’s 44%, yet after the fuzzy math was done by the Democratic Party establishment, out of the states’ 18 total potential delegates, Hillary Clinton received 11, in effect reversing the decision of the caucus goers.  Even deducting the 4 super-delegates, who are uncommitted and are expected to vote for whichever candidate has the most committed delegates coming to the convention, that still means Clinton netted half of the delegates. Sanders nets 40% of the caucus delegates despite a respectable lead?  This peculiar math was commented on even by Joe Scarborough and the other political commentators on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

“I’m sorry,” Joe Scarborough exclaimed after reviewing the facts, “that’s a crushing victory!”

Unfortunately, Joe, you don’t know the half of it.  Laramie County is the state’s capital and more populous than most of Wyoming, a rural state.  The caucus turnout in Laramie County was heavy, with the attendees overwhelmingly in favor of Bernie Sanders: 689 to Clinton’s 111. But magically, 620 absentee ballots suddenly appeared on the day of the caucus in favor of Hillary Clinton! 

Bear in mind, Wyoming is a caucus state, where the candidate is only chosen by those voters who are attending in person NOT by either electronic vote and still less by absentee ballot.  Surrogate voting is only allowed in the caucus under rare and extenuating circumstances. 

So how is it that that so many persons in this one county suddenly developed La Grippe or, say, absent on military duty? Such a skewed surrogate vote is statistically IMPOSSIBLE—at least in an honest election. 

The MSNBC reporter in the field, Kristen Dahlgren, reporting from Laramie, observed that “clearly there were clearly a lot more Bernie Sanders supporters here at the caucus.”  When she asked Democratic Party official and Clinton loyalist Kathy Karpon whether she was surprised at the big Hillary vote, when so many attending the caucus were clearly for Bernie, she slyly responded that she was not surprised “because we knew we had the surrogate ballots out there.”

Over at CNN (a network owned by a major Clinton donor) a Clinton flack was dispatched to provide spin control to avoid any embarrassing questions about the peculiar results coming out of Wyoming.  The Clinton stooge claimed that, unlike the 82% or 86% votes coming out of the other western caucuses, Wyoming was held down to a 12 point lead by Sanders because, he alleged, of Wyoming’s “onerous vote-by-mail rules” that anyone filing a surrogate ballot had to have voted as a Democrat in the 2014 mid-terms.  That, he said, was their “secret sauce.”  The only problem with this excuse is that it is a total fabrication: a quick glance at state Democratic voting rules reveals no such mid-term restriction.

The “secret sauce” in Wyoming was Clinton minions’ ballot stuffing and egregious voter fraud.  Reports have been trickling out of other states of voting irregularities and sabotage, all pointing to a concerted campaign of vote fraud on the part of the Clinton Machine.  This has largely gone unreported by the mainstream media and so far the Sanders campaign has been reluctant to investigate the reports and file official complaints, perhaps out of fear of being accused of “sour grapes.” 

 

Stuffing-The-Ballot-Box
Evidence of voting irregularities are emerging in primary states but have yet to be adequately investigated.

 

Rigged elections are a serious issue. Wyoming is a small state in so far as numbers of delegates go; but because of that, the Clinton dirty tricks were more obvious than in a bigger electoral state.  Wyoming is not an isolated case.  There is a trail of fraud and manipulation attributable to the Clinton Campaign since at least the Massachusetts primary.  The Democratic establishment may fear that the Clinton money machine will come to an end if Bernie Sanders wins the nomination, but the looming Clintongate scandal may well explode in their well-heeled Wall Street funded faces, just as Watergate did to Richard Nixon and the Republicans.

DAILY PLANET SWIFT BOATS THE BERN

AS CRUCIAL AS NEW YORK IS FOR SLICK HILLARY, WE ALL KNEW HER MEDIA HACKS WOULD GO ALL OUT TO DISCREDIT BERNIE SANDERS.  WELL ITS BEGUN.

surprised Hillary
Slick Hillary distributed copies of the Daily Planet hatchet job to her minions to use against Brooklyn Bernie

The New York Daily News (aka The Daily Planet–you know with the tabloid with the big globe in its lobby) had an interview with candidate Bernie Sanders.  Actually, hatchet job would be a better description.  The tack they took was a classic from the Republican playbook; they “Swiftboated” him.

In case you are too young to remember, back in 2004, nearly half the country was already soured on George W. Bush, the Vietnam Era playboy who had his Daddy pull strings to get himself into the Air National Guard to avoid going to Viet Fucking Nam.  Running against draft dodge George was Senator John Kerry, a war hero who was awarded the Purple Heart five times–FIVE TIMES==but who was painted as a liar and a coward by GOP shills.  Well, enough of the public bought that lie that King George II won re-election.  So, the evil genius GOP hacks and their media lackeys took Kerry’s strong point and by repetitive lying and misrepresentation, turned that strong point into his weak point.  That is, in essence, what the Hillary hacks at the NY Daily News have tried to do in their interview.

If anything, Bernie Sanders has gone into too much detail about what he will do when elected President. His critique of the Washington establishment is as deep as it is broad and by his avoiding large donors and super PAC money, he has walked the walk as well as talking the talk.  He also has made no secret that he intends to rein in Wall Street at the earliest opportunity.  This we all know.

Hillary vs Bernie on Panama Trade Agreement

So what does Hillary’s shill at the Daily Planet do?  Why attack Bernie as being shallow and having no plan as to what he’s going to do, of course!  In regard to how Bernie would break up the big banks, they badgered him to cite chapter and verse as to EXACTLY he would go about doing that, on the surface of it a perfectly moronic question.

otherpeoplesmoney
Bernie opposed the Panama trade agreement which enabled billionaires to dodge taxes; Slick Hillary pushed it through to help her corporate friends.

As President, the POTUS does not give specifics as to how his policies are carried out: that’s what his cabinet and their departments are supposed to do.  How do you go about going after the banksters who committed massive fraud and nearly destroyed the world economy? How do I prosecute thee? Let me count the ways.

There are dozens, possibly hundreds of ways to go about reining in the Banksters and their mega banks; but first you have to get elected.  Then appoint Elizabeth Warren to your cabinet and I GUARANTEE she will find a way or three; or four, or more.

all-banksters-550
Just appoint Elizabeth Warren to your cabinet Bernie, then let her at these Banksters; she’ll take care of the details!

 

Another so called “Gotcha” by the Hillary shill was on Sanders notable lack of enthusiasm for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Neo-Fascist policies.  Because Bernie, a NEW YORK JEW doesn’t go along with rubber stamping the failed policies of the extreme right wing parties in Israel and tacitly approves of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem (which EVERY previous US president has at least given lip service too) this is supposed to be a negative.  Bernie Sanders grew up seeing the adults in his neighborhood with the concentration camp tattoos; he is pro-Israel, he is A JEW; but he does not support the failed policies of extreme right wing Israeli governments who have chosen to intervene in the internal politics of the United States big time.

That being said, it is true that foreign policy is not Bernie Sanders strong point.  We must contrast that with Hillary Clinton’s VAST experience in foreign policy: such as approving a trade agreement with Panama to enable her billionaire friends to dodge taxes and launder money; voting for the Iraq War; pushing President Obama to intervene in Libya (Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi); and, of course, the sterling success of our intervention in Syria.  And let us not forget the looming TPP deal, which will lose us millions more in trade deficits and jobs, but enrich her billionaire multi-national corporatist friends.  So yes, Hillary is a foreign policy “expert” and Bernie is not.  He just believes in fairness, justice and peace.

banksters-preview

Well, mark my word.  The New York Daily Planet hatchet job is just the opening salvo in the Hillary Media campaign to keep New York voters from finding out the truth about Brooklyn born Bernie and their carpet-bag former senator.

 

AMERICA’S FIRST SOCIALISTS

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A communal feast where everyone shares equally in the fruits of their common labor–sometimes known as “The First Thanksgiving.” No tipping was allowed.

It remains to be seen whether the presidential candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders is just an outlier or the beginning of a major sea-change in American politics.  In either case, it would be good at this juncture for us all to reflect on Socialism and its history in American politics and society.  The history of American Socialism is not exactly a secret, but on the other hand most Americans have a very poor understanding of what it is and was.  Whatever one may think of it as a political and economic movement, the chances are you are wrong in your assumptions, good or bad.  At best, I think most folks know that Bernie Sanders is far from being the first socialist to appear on the scene, but how far back this movement goes is very poorly understood.

Do you know–or think you know–who were the very first Americans to practice Socialism?

—–Think it was members of the American Communist Party in the 1930’s?  Nope: they were outspoken, militant and slavishly devoted to Joe Stalin, and most people during the Cold War associated them with disloyalty and treason; but no, they were hardly the first or only ones to advocate some kind of socialist solution.

—–How About the Socialists active during Gilded Age and the early 1900’s?  Well, there were a bunch of folks active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and as mayors of cities and congressmen they generally had a good reputation for honesty and good government; but no they were not the first.  Guess again.

—–How About the Civil War Era, were they the first?  You’re getting warmer.  There were a whole bunch of people who espoused some kind of Socialism and were active in Abolitionism as well; but no, they weren’t the first, not by a longshot.

—–How About the Early decades of the Nineteenth Century, were there Socialists around during the Early Republic?  Yes, there were and in addition to those espousing political ideas, many organized communes were established as bold social and intellectual experiments, reminiscent of the Hippie communes of the 1960’s;  But no, sorry no brass ring; they weren’t the first.

OK.  If you’re still with me, let me clue you in: not only is Socialism as American as apple pie and a Thanksgiving Turkey, its origins in America go back to the very English first settlements–assuming we don’t include Native Americans, who lived in tribal communities without private property going back to the Mesolithic Era here.  It was, in fact, the early settlers of New England who first practiced Socialism, folk whom you may know as the Pilgrims.

Actually, there were two groups of settlers in New England, the ones we call Pilgrims (although they didn’t use that name) and the Puritans; the Plymouth Bay Colony and the Massachusetts Bay colony respectively.  According to my family’s genealogists we claim ancestors in both groups, although the lineage is a bit convoluted.  Regardless, these early settlers are usually held up as models of the Protestant Work Ethic and cited as positive role models for the Capitalist Way, which is a popular lie you no doubt were told in grammar school.

Protestants they were, and pretty austere ones at that, but they also did something modern Bible thumpers rarely seem to do; they read all the passages of the Bible, not just the ones that were convenient or suited some media evangelist’s get rich quick gospel.  If you get deeply into both the Old and New Testaments, you will find quite a bit there that does not jibe too well with modern notions of Capitalism and big business.  The Bible has things like, oh, a progressive income tax (OT), or, say, passages where it tells you to give all your possessions to the poor and follow Jesus (NT); stuff like that.

Eventually, of course, Mammon won out over Jehovah with the Puritans and they became prosperous smugglers, merchants, manufacturers, whalers, transporters of slaves and assorted other activities that made one filthy rich but are not particularly good for the soul.

If you travel through New England, you will find a vestige of the region’s socialist roots.  Just about every little town or village has a “commons” and, of course, the Boston Commons is well known to residents of Beantown.  Originally, every community’s land was held in “common” and distributed according to the town Elders’ dictates.

Across the state line in New York, the center of town is usually called the village “green” (as in “Tavern on the Green”) which is short for Bowling  Green.  Of course, the Dutch in New Amsterdam were fond of their bowling and would play Nine-Pins in the town square whenever weather allowed while quaffing the product of a nearby inn or tavern.  In Puritan New England, such merriment was strictly forbidden; hard work and prayer substituted for singing, dancing and gaming.

Plymounth Rock
A piece of the Rock–Plymouth Rock

When the Pilgrims first arrived in 1620, they did not have an easy time of it.  They did not arrive off the New England until November of that year, far too late for growing any crops and that first winter nearly half of the 102 colonists died.  Of more interest for our concern was the fact that, at first, everything that the colony produced was pooled together and held in the “common storehouse” at one end of the Plymouth settlement.  This system was in force for the first couple of years, partly out of necessity: the colony was facing starvation for first few seasons, and more indigent immigrants arrived by boat from England, but the extra mouths to feed were not accompanied by enough supplies to provide for them.  The Plymouth colonists at one point were reduced to stealing parched corn from a local Indian tribe to avoid starving.

plymouth-colony-samoset-granger
Local Native American leader Samoset welcomes the arriving English. They return the courtesy by stealing corn, which was better than the Jamestown colonists, who turned to cannibalism.

This communal system did not sit well with some of the more able bodied males in the colony, many of whom had migrated in hopes of making their fortune in the New World and not for religious reasons (they were called “the Strangers” by the more religious) and had no desire to provide for other men’s wives and children.  Governor Bradford and the English backers of the enterprise abolished the system of the common storehouse in 1623 and land was divided among settlers to farm individually.  However, the colony still retained communal title to the land even though it was farmed separately, and all the tools were still held in collectively and doled out as needed.  Moreover, meadowlands for the grazing of livestock were still managed in common, plus fishing, hunting and fowling rights were held in common as well, so the concept of private property and ownership still remained a weak one for some years.

The Puritan by Augustus Saint-Gaudens
The Puritan by Augustus Saint Gauden.  The Puritans were sober, industrious and, in the early days, socialists.

The story of the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, (begun by the Puritans, a different religious sect than the Congregationalist Pilgrims), was not dissimilar to that of the Plymouth colony, save that they were even more austere and, well, more puritanical. Moreover, the Puritan colony was planned from the start as a theocracy; in theory, not man, but God, ruled the Puritan communities.

Each new township established by the Puritan elders had about six to ten square miles of land, effectively some 30 to 40 thousand acres, and each resident of a township had access to the community’s common pasturage.  There was no particular ideology at work here, however, it was just the best way to organize a Godly community and, in many cases, they were simply continuing the traditional open field system they’d known in the Old Country, itself was a holdover from the middle ages.  As time went on, and austere virtue began giving way to unelightened self-interest and greed, and regulating the fair and proper use of the common lands of the New England communities became more and more bothersome for beleagered town elders having to discipline those who took more than their fair share.

In the end, the fact that most of the land in New England was ill suited to intensive farming probably had more influence in the breakdown of Puritan agrarian socialism than the economic superiority of Captitalism or any other economic theory.  Then too, many frugal Yankees found that building ships and transporting goods across the open seas was far more rewarding than the backbreaking work of being a Jabez Stone style farmer in a rock filled field.  Moreover, it became a firm tenet of Puritan belief that material wealth was Jehovah’s way of rewarding the virtuous–and by the end of the seventeenth century, Yankee merchants had become very virtous indeed.

Mass Bay Col coin
The Pine tree was the symbol of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In the end Money triumphed over virtue in Puritan New England.

 

 

 

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