Friday, January 18, 2019

It is time to take on the centrists in the Democratic Party

By SJ Otto

Once again I see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s name in the news. And it is for a good reason. Ocasio-Cortez is going to help progressive Democrats to defeat the stodgy old centrist Democrats. Most of these centrists follow a strategy that is familiar to most of us — They raise a lot of money, they stick to the political middle and they don’t discuss any issues that may offend any of their constituents. That strategy has not worked well. The Democrats lost every branch of government until they just recently regained the US House. Except for Bernie Sanders, it has been years since a socialist or a really progressive Democrat has won anything.
We have not had a left leaning president since London B Johnson. So Ocasio-Cortez is a welcome change. It only makes sense to try and win more progressive Democrats to office. We gain little from electing conservative Democrats. Almost every politician running for office, Democrat OR Republican, talks of saving or rebuilding the middle class. Almost no one is running on a platform to save the working poor. That would be those hard working people who make minimum wage or just a little bit more than that.
There has to be a lot of people in this country who work hard but are below the middle class. And yet there is NO REPRESENTATION for these people in Congress. That needs to change. We need to try and take the Democratic Party and change it from a corporate centrist party to a working and poor people’s party.
The argument that the country is too conservative doesn’t cut it anymore. The conservatives have strangled this country and the traditional Democrats have done nothing but hide. Their motto seems to be “I’m for that also, just not as much.” They’ve acted as if they are ashamed of themselves for not being conservative.
It’s time to be bold. It’s time to assert ourselves. We have things to say and we need to save them. According to Business Insider:

“On a Facebook Live conference call held Saturday by the progressive group Justice Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez asked hundreds of viewers to consider launching their own campaigns, no matter who they'd be facing. "This is about bringing justice to our system," said Ocasio-Cortez. "All Americans know that money in politics is a huge problem but unfortunately, the way that we fix it is demanding that our incumbents give it up or by running fierce campaigns ourselves," she continued. For Ocasio-Cortez, the issue seemed to be beyond politics, saying "that's really what we need to do to save this country."

She is right. We need to take control of the Democratic Party or at least make a genuine effort, even if it takes us a while. We working poor have a right to be represented in Congress.

Pix from

Monday, January 14, 2019

Lacy Cruz sworn in for county commissioner

Here lacy Cruz is sworn into office, last Sunday, at the Sedwick County Courthouse.

After being sworn in as the 4th district commissioner, Cruz talked about the importance of being an inclusive politician and representing all the people.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Sanders 2020 Supporters To Host Over 400 House Parties in All 50 States

DENVER, Colo. (January 11, 2019)—Grassroots supporters across the country have started organizing for a potential presidential run by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), with over 400 house parties planned on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4 PM ET. The house parties will occur in all 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Bahamas, and Austria.
The events were registered through Organizing for Bernie, a grassroots movement to encourage Sen. Sanders to run for president in 2020, in partnership with The People for Bernie Sanders, and is co-sponsored by Our Revolution, Progressive Democrats of America.
Attendees of the over 400 house parties will join a livestream conversation from key movement activists, who will discuss why Sen. Sanders is the best candidate to combat climate change, fight for working families, and beat Donald Trump. Following that conversation, organizers will lay out plans for grassroots activists to get to work building a campaign-in-waiting, should Sen. Sanders decide to run in 2020

Here are some Bernie Sanders Supporters here in Wichita, at 6000 E. Harry, at a house party 4 Bernie.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez— The rising star on the American Democrat Party —LEFT!

By SJ Otto
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already making waves in the US House of Representatives and that is what we need her to do.
According to Politico:

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already making enemies in the House Democratic Caucus — and some of its members are mounting an operation to bring the anti-establishment, democratic socialist with 2.2 million Twitter followers into the fold.
The effort, described by nearly 20 lawmakers and aides, is part carrot, part stick: Some lawmakers with ties to Ocasio-Cortez are hoping to coax her into using her star power to unite Democrats and turn her fire on Republicans. Others simultaneously warn Ocasio-Cortez is destined for a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.
“I’m sure Ms. Cortez means well, but there’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). “We just don’t need sniping in our Democratic Caucus.”

For the last 30 years the Democratic Party has gotten a lot of middle of the road centrist and some slightly left of center candidates elected into office. The party has been very timid. While Republicans have pushed for and successfully imbedded their far-to-the-right agenda on the American public, the Democrats have run issueless campaigns designed to offend no one. The Republicans, on the other hand, have viciously attacked their opponents. The Democrats have lost more elections than they have won and the Republicans have controlled all there branches of government—that is until this year when they won back the house. One reason for the Democrat’s success were the Ocasio-Cortez kind of candidates. Until recently Ocasio-Cortez type of candidate were extremely rare in this country. A new progressive wing has emerged since Bernie Sanders ran for president as a Democrat. He used to run as an independent. Now there has been a new interest in democratic socialism here in the US. Both Democratic Socialist of America (DSA) and the Socialist Party USA have seen huge increases in membership. Also, the majority of those joining these parties are young people, such as Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez is emerging as a leader on the Democratic Party’s left. Just a week ago she was interviewed by 60 minutes. There hasn’t been much of a left for the Democrats in the last 30 years. So it is no surprise that the more older and established Democrats are not happy with the idea that they may have to change their ways or at least support those Democrats who do. For many years the Democrats have been extremely disappointing for those who have wanted to support progressive politics and progressive politicians. Now we have some politicians worth supporting. They are worth voting for and they are worth giving support.  
After 30 years of political muck and Democrat presidents that avoided the left with a passion, this country may finally be ready for some change. Not all progressive Democrats won during the last election. The old guard is not going to just fade away. It is going to be a knock down, dragged out fight for control of the Democratic Party. And we still have a very powerful Republican Party with their bag of dirty tricks. But if nothing else, we can finally see a glimpse of light at the end of the political tunnel. We may finally get past the idea that socialism is a dirty word.

Pix by Rolling Stone.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Fox & Friends host fact-checked by co-host after bungling tax segment

"What (Barack) Obama didn't understand?!" Sure! He is just an idiot with no understanding of economics. Sure! People will avoid being $millionaires and wealthy because they will get taxed?! Ridiculous! Are these folks just going to go on welfare or get minimum wage jobs? -SJ Otto

Saturday, January 05, 2019

The new year starts with a new US House of Representatives—with some progressives

By SJ Otto
It is the new year, Congress begins anew and the US House of Representatives is now run by the Democratic Party. One of my favourite Democrats this year is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who is not only one of the youngest people to ever serve in the House, she is also a member of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). She and Bernie Sanders are among the new progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Until the candidacy  of Bernie Sanders in the last presidential primary and general election, there really was no left-wing or progressive wing of the Democrats. The Democratic Party was solidly centrists. That is now changing and it is no surprise that conservatives are looking for anything they can use to try and stop Cortez and other leftists. One of their first and extremely lame attempts to embarrass her was in posting that old video of her dancing.
How lame can they get?
By now she has laughed that off.

'Congresswomen dance too': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hits back with new video

Another complaint is that she is wearing clothes that seem to be more for that of a wealthy person. This is the time-old-attempt conservatives make against any socialist. They try to insinuate that a socialist should dress and look like they are poor—
destitute if possible. But they should never dress-up and look wealthy. An example of this is from The Atlantic:

"The next day, Eddie Scarry, formerly a blogger for the gossip site FishbowlDCand currently a writer for the conservative Washington Examinerposted a picture of Ocasio-Cortez, taken from behind, seemingly without her knowledge, as she walked through a hallway wearing a tailored black jacket and carrying a coat. He accompanied it with a note that doubled as a caption: “Hill staffer sent me this pic of Ocasio-Cortez they took just now. I’ll tell you something: that jacket and coat don’t look like a girl who struggles.” This tweet went viral, too—not because of the insight it offered, but because of the opposite. People mocked it and memed it and objected to it, some indignant at the creep shot Scarry shared, many others referencing the obvious fact that it is possible to advocate for the working class and wear clothing at the same time."

It's about time that the common reader/audience learn what socialist have known all along—we don't need to look poor to advocate for the poor. For one thing, a socialist does not have to wear poor clothing and look poor. It just  doesn't matter. A socialist can be wealthy and still be a socialist. To insist that a socialist should wear poor clothing and be poor is just a myth. It is a myth perpetuated by conservatives. They want people to believe that we socialist should look and dress like the people we advocate for. They wanted people to be outraged when Daniel Ortega, during his first term as president of Nicaragua, in the 1980s, bought a pair of stylish and expensive glasses. The glasses were more than $3,500. If any other world leader had bought those it would not be news. But he was the Marxist president of a poor nation and conservatives pounced on him for buying the glasses.
Such complaints are nothing more than conservative hypocrisy. 
Another target of conservative wrath was the new Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a woman and Moslem, who declared that the newly installed Democratic majority in the House will "go in there and impeach the motherfucker," breaking with party leaders and stirring controversy just hours after officially taking office.
As reported from Politico: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats have been largely hesitant to promise President Donald Trump's impeachment, preferring instead to wait for the results of the ongoing Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. But Tlaib (D-Mich.) and others in the newly installed House have expressed an eagerness to begin impeachment proceedings even before Mueller issues a final report."
Despite discussing whether such us of profanity is actually helpful or hurtful, there is already those writers suggesting that Tlaib apologise for what she said. MATTHEW DOWD, from ABC News said:

"We moved to Southfield, Michigan, in my youth, and I completely understand and relate to the “chip-on-your-shoulder” grittiness and saltiness of the area. I have retained much of that sentiment, but Congresswoman Tlaib should apologize for her recent comments to a cheering crowd about President Trump: “When your son looks at you and says, ‘Mamma, look you won, bullies don't win,' and I said, 'Baby, they don't,' because we’re gonna go in there and we're gonna impeach the m-----------."
We really don't need to apologize for every statement we make—right or wrong. Tlaib just doesn't need to apologise. It makes us look wishy-washy. It was an off the cuff remark. It was said and now it needs to be forgotten. There is too much apologising to an audience of people who are being clobbered by political correctness. It is time to say what we mean. It is time to be bold. There is a change coming and it doesn't need any apologising.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Stand-your-ground allowed a 16 year old kid to be gunned down —Stand-your-ground has got to go

By SJ Otto
A little over a week ago a 16 year old boy was shot, as he took part in an armed robbery December 28, at the B & H Fast Trip convenience store on S. Seneca. I realize that taking part in an armed robbery is dangerous to both the robbers and the people being robbed. But once again a bystander with a concealed hand gun killed one of the kid robbers. They were kids. I really question how important it was to kill a 16 year old kid. The other robbers got away with some cash and miscellaneous items that probably weren't worth that much. No store employees or bystanders where hurt. Just one 16 year old shot in the head when a person in the crowd pulled out a gun and started shooting. The shooter was 42 years. It often seems that people who get shot by conceal carry people are usually very young and the shooters are usually much older.
Once again we see Kansas’ stand-your-ground law in action. This law was passed in 2007 and it seems to take away any real accountability for a conceal and carry person. Kansas is just one of many states that have passed such a law.
This was Wichita’s 44th homicide of 2018 and potentially the ninth stand-your-ground killing of the year. Homicides in Wichita this year have nearly doubled from the same time period in 2017. This year's homicide rate is the highest since 1995.
I have to wonder whether we as a society are really safer since stand-your-ground was passed. According to The Wichita Eagle:

"Before Kansas’ stand-your-ground law passed, if there was an opportunity to escape violence, or a chance to retreat, a person had to make that the first option before using force.
That’s no longer the case. Kansas is one of many states where citizens have no legal duty to retreat from an attacker in any place where they are lawfully present. A killing is justifiable in Kansas when a person “reasonably believes” that the use of deadly force is “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” to that person or a third party."

It may be reasonable for a person to defend their property, but if the robbery had taken place before the days of stand-your-ground, this kid would probably still be alive. Chances are good that these robbers will be caught. So we have to wonder if the loss of life, especially such a young one, was really worth what ever money they took.

Stand-your-ground was passed as part of a process by right-wing gun nuts who are determined to arm conservatives to the teeth. Fist they wanted to carry guns. After that they had to pass laws making it nearly impossible to prosecute them if they shoot someone under questionable circumstances, or if they accidently kill the wrong person. This law tries to protect those who miss-use their guns. The conservatives behind this want a society where anyone can shoot someone —anyone, for any reason and then claim they were afraid for their lives. Any law that shields someone from being accountable for their actions is a dangerous law.
Some local anti-gun groups here in Wichita, including some members of the Peace and Social Justice Center, want to focus on repealing a law that allows anyone to carry a concealed weapon with out needing a permit. Governor Sam Brownback passed such a law in 2015.  
I oppose changing that law because at present any person can carry a gun. Before that change, people had to pay about $300 for classes and the permit to carry the gun. If they want to change this law, they need to lower the amount of money it takes to get a permit. Poor people should have the same rights as wealthy people to carry a gun.
I'm not against people carrying guns, but I believe those who carry them should be held accountable for what they do with them. There needs to be some restraint on those who carry guns. We aren't safe if a person can shoot us, as in a case of mistaken identity, and the shooter won't be held accountable simply because he/she claims they were in danger.
We need to repeal stand-your-ground laws. We control what police do with guns, why shouldn't a common citizen be held to the same standards.

Pix by Wikipedia.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The important political news high lights of 2018

By Steve Otto
It is  time, once again, for a year end round up. This is that time of year I write about the high lights of the last year.
This year the biggest news story was the election. Polls predicted that the Democrats would retake the house and they did. The Democrats did terrible in the Senate races. They lost most of the tight senate races, leaving a lot of power in the hands of our idiot President Donald Trump. But Trump will not control the US House and that allows the Democrats to put the breaks on some of his stupidity.  
Here in Kansas we had mixed results. We avoided having Kris Kobach as our next governor. That  means we finally see an end to the disastrous Sam Brownback years and his horrible ideology. Democrat Laura Kelly will take control of the Governor's mansion in January. On the other side, Brownback style congress people won more seats in the Kansas House and Senate. Our lackluster slacker Republican Ron Estes won the fourth district over James Thompson, so he will continue to be a yes man for our Idiot and Chief Trump. He will also continue to support doing nothing on behalf of our health care. He is one of the laziest politician Kansas has ever produced. The one bright spot here in Sedgwick County was the win by Lacy Cruz, over far-far-far right-wing bigot Randy Ranzau. Cruz is one of our local progressives so it will be interesting to see what she does.
Kansas also elected Democrat Sharice Davids, a member of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk Native American Indian tribe and defeated four-term Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder in Kansas' 3rd district. Davids is also a lesbian. 
The Democrats did much better this year than in the last election two years ago, when the Democrats lost all the major elections, governor, US House and US Senate.
In December Claudia Amaro, a leading activist and organizer in the Latino community of Wichita spoke to the Peace and Social Justice Center, for their Annual Dinner on the problem of immigration.
Amaro discussed many of the bad laws that have been passed over the years that have contributed to the immigration problems of today. She gave the example of NAFT (North American Free Trade Agreement).
“It created great hardships,” Amaro said.
Some other problems she added included that fact that US Corporations went to Mexico to avoid taxes and to dodge paying workers minimum wage. NAFTA undermined labor laws.
Amaro reminded people that it was Ronald Reagan who attacked the countries of El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as Honduras. That kind of interference has made life for some citizens of those countries almost unlivable. That is why they are coming her.
In November Trump ignored critics from both parties, Democrat and Republican, and announced that he was going to ignore all the crimes committed by Saudi Arabia and continue to sell arms to that country. Saudi Arabia is probably one of the worst foreign policies of the US. Both People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Saudi Arabia have handed down political power from father to son, a monarchy type situation.
Every time some one has any kind of relationship to or with Kim Jong Un, the leader of DPRK , reporters are quick to point out that Kim is a “murderer.” He has a “horrible human rights record,” as any politician or celebrity will be reminded by mainstream reporters. But Saudi Arabia is no better. Saudi Arabia has about the same type of human rights abuses. People are executed all the time in that country. Our own CIA has figured out that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a murderer and responsible for the murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
And yet Trump defied the nation’s intelligence agencies to declare his
unswerving loyalty to Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Salman. He made the ridiculous claim that “the killing of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi might never be known.”
This October some right-wing nut sent pipe bombs to Democrats and progressive politicians. What is not surprising is that Fox News tried to blame the Democrats and liberals for the attempted bombings.
This September we witnessed the spectacle of the Republican Party doing everything it could, often without a single shred of decency or fair play, to get their right-wing ideologue Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court bench. Not only is this guy far-far-far to the right, he was also accused of attempted rape and other ill tempered actions towards women. The Republicans in the Senate ignored the accusations. Also Kavanaugh gave a speech defending himself that demonstrated him to be arrogant and hateful towards the Democratic Party.
In August we realized that a new progressive wing of the Democratic Party was beginning to influence the upcoming elections. The Wichita Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) promoted a number of candidates for office including Lacey Cruse, a folk singer and political newcomer whose campaign poster proclaimed “NO MORE OLD WHITE GUYS,”  She then faced off against incumbent Richard Ranzau in the race for Sedgwick County Commissioner. She won both the primary and the general election. She beat Michael Kinard, a Democrat established activist and former Wichita school board member, in the primary. DSA also supported James Thompson who faced off with Republican Ron Estes for the 4rth district representative seat. He did not win, but put up a really good campaign.
In July a large group of Wichitans protested and occupied the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, (ICE) center at 555 N. Woodlawn, About 90 people attended the rally, which began as a response to Trump's actions that led to separated families. 

In June, long time mainstream Democrat Representative Joe Crowley was ousted from his Queens district by a card carrying DSA member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina running her first political campaign. She and Bernie Sanders traveled around the country supporting the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
I have been following the activities of Wichita's DSA Chapter all year. In May DSA held a campout, which was attended by DSA members from nearby states, such as Nebraska and Kansas City, MO. I was very interested in a talk by Phil Brown, from Omaha, Nebraska, who gave an excellent speech on "Combating anti-communism." It was a relief to hear a DSA member explain the drawbacks and dangers of supporting some of the liberals and mainstream Democrats who campaign against communists who are involved in various progressive causes.
Every few years this country has a drug epidemic and that is followed by overreaction that can cause problems for a lot of people. During the 1980s we had a crack cocaine epidemic and that caused a lot of young black men and some women, to receive ridiculously long prison sentences for possession of small amounts of crack cocaine. Now we have the opioid epidemic. A lot of this is caused by a street version of a synthetic opioid known as fentanyl. It is a cheap easy to make drug that is 100 times stronger than heroin and is present in most of the opioid deaths that are fueling this campaign. The worst thing about this epidemic is that the press and politicians are focusing on doctors, claiming that over-prescribing pain medicine has caused this epidemic. The results is that people who need pain medicine are finding it hard to get. I have a friend who has two forms of cancer and he spent months looking for a doctor that would prescribe the pain medicine he needs. In April I wrote an article on this hype and hysteria; " The opioid epidemic is really a fentanyl epidemic—and we don’t need all the hype"

In March we hadMarch for Our Lives, in Wichita, and it was probably one of the largest marches I've seen in several years. It was run mostly by, and largely attended by high school students. A few thousand people Marched from Park Elementary School to the old Sedgwick County Courthouse. This coincided with students across the country who are sick and tired of seeing students shot down in their schools. They are tired of seeing all the politicians who consistently do nothing to pass laws that will deal with gun violence. Since the dominant party in this country is presently the Republican Party, they have seen a government of politicians who are determined to listen to the NRA (National Rifle Association), which opposes any kind of gun regulations at all. This generation is fed up with the NRA and all politicians (Mostly Republican) who are so in dept to them. A lot of these students are presently too young to vote. But that will change over the next few years. When these students come of age it could change the political landscape. We could see a real back lash against these pro-gun Republicans and some real problems for the NRA —who seriously deserve what they will get.
After more than six years of strangulation due to the tax cuts for the rich, by our past Governor Sam Brownback, we attained relief from Republican miss-management, in February. Our schools were underfunded. and every program designed to help the poor were slashed to the bone, so wealthy business owners could enjoy a massive tax break. The economy was in shambles before he went off to be an ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom around the world for our idiot and chief Trump.
Brownback admitted he was running an experiment in Kansas and that experiment has failed and failed miserably. He slashed taxes for wealthy businesses, and as most conservatives he tried to balance the budget on the backs of working people. Kansas's budget has for years resembled a wallet with a hole in it—every time the state's bookkeepers peek inside, they find less money than the government thought would be there. He took a lot of money out of our education system as if it had no value.
Last January I wrote about the problems of the US anti-war movement. That problem lies mostly in the hands of the Democratic Party which has largely ignored the peace movement. Since the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, the Democratic Party has been as hawkish on foreign policy as the Republicans. Today there is no mainstream party and very few persons that a peace advocate can vote for. I wrote an article called; " Code Pink has a morale problem: It’s called Democrats.:
The last few decades have been extremely conservative. That iron grip the Republicans have had one the nation and world are slowly starting to slip. But we have a long way to go to stop the tide of conservatism. This is a new year, so we can keep trying.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Bernie Sanders calls for action on the government shutdown

From Bernie Sanders:
Sisters and Brothers -
Last night at midnight, the Republican House, Senate, and President of the United States shut down the government.
As a result, some 800,000 federal employees may be sent home without a paycheck. In fact, many may be required to continue their jobs — without getting paid.
And let us not forget that these are workers who have kids to feed, mortgages to pay, and health care expenses.
Meanwhile, all over this country, people who access and need government services are at risk of not being able to get them.
And if you think my Republican colleagues are staying up late at night worrying about these people, you would be mistaken.
Because the truth is, just days ago, Republicans and Democrats had a deal to continue funding the government. In the Senate, we passed something called a “continuing resolution” unanimously - one the president had indicated he would sign.
But, as is often the case with our erratic and impulsive president, he flip-flopped after hearing criticism from Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and other right-wing commentators.
And all of this is over a wasteful, unnecessary and xenophobic border wall that will do more harm than good.
In my view, it is long overdue for Republicans in Congress to stand up to Trump. But if that is ever going to happen, my colleagues need to hear from you. They need to know that there is a price to pay for standing with Trump when they should be standing up to him.
So today, I am asking:
Ours is a country that faces enormous problems today.
The stock market is struggling, interest rates are rising, and the Secretary of Defense is heading for the exit in response to Trump’s make-it-up-as-you-go foreign policy.
The president’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is heading to jail, and the Mueller investigation regarding possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russians is coming to a head.
At a deeper level, we remain the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all.
Hundreds of thousands of young people cannot afford to go to college, and over 40 million are struggling with outrageous levels of student debt.
Economically, the younger generation will likely have, for the first time in modern history, a lower standard of living than their parents.
And two recent major reports on climate change have told us that we must combat aggressively a growing threat to our planet.
Clearly, this president’s erratic and impulsive behavior is a danger to our country and a major impediment in terms of addressing the crises we face.
His decision to shut down the government is just the latest example of this destructive pattern.
I believe it is time for Republicans in Congress to stand up to him so that we, in a bipartisan way, can fund the government and end this shutdown.
Add your name to say you agree:
This government shutdown did not have to happen. But hopefully if we all make our voices heard, it will end soon.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Trump was right—to oppose our Middle East Imperialist policies

By SJ Otto
Trump’s latest declaration is that the US has defeated ISIS (Islamic State) and the US does not need to be in the Middle East. He is right. I don’t agree with him often, but the US is addicted to war and imperialism. The Republican Party, especially, is addicted to the idea that the US needs to be in charge of the entire world. They believe every decision foreign governments make needs to by approved by US leaders. And most Republicans can’t imagine a war they aren’t supporting.
It amazes me that his own party is tearing him up over his stand in Syria.

“We have defeated Isis in Syria,” Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday, “my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency.”

Trump has taken some real heat from his own supporters for his latest declaration:

“It had to be uncomfortable morning viewing for Donald Trump again Thursday as Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade tore into the president for his shock announcement that he wants to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria—a move Kilmeade slammed as “totally irresponsible” and that would allow ISIS to re-establish its severely diminished power.”

I listened to NPR on the radio today and they can’t find anyone in the US government that agrees with Trump. That includes both Democrats and Republicans. I heard comments such as “shocked’ and “big mistake.”
But this is a country today where no one, Democrat nor Republicans, can imagine the US at peace. We are the world’s bully boys and we have to be fighting and killing those who don’t conform to the US standards.
I don’t care why Trump made this decision, it is the right one to make. The rest of the county’s government leaders need to get over it!

Pix by Wired.   

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Trump is ridiculous and the US health care system is badly broken

By SJ Otto
US President Donald Trump would be a funny man, deeply amusing, if he wasn’t such a destructive political force. He is truly despicable. One of the best examples of this is his policies on health care. One of the first things he did when, he took office, was to strip Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) and cost millions of people their health care.
He is still at it, determined to destroy health care for millions of people. He is determined and has worked diligently to destroy the one act to provide common people of medium and lower class workers to health care. The US is about the only industrialised country in the world that does not have any program to provide health care for its working poor.[1] For the last 50 years various presidents and politicians have tried to pass laws that would change that, but the various corporations that profit off of this country’s sick people have managed to destroy such attempts.
It was almost two weeks ago that aTexas judge ruled Obamacare to be unconstitutional, a move that could leave millions of Americans uninsured and without any health care. If that ruling stands, it could be a disaster for millions of Americans and yet Trump was crowing about it being a “great ruling for the country.”
 “It was a big, big victory by a highly respected judge, highly, highly respected in Texas,” President Trump said in response to a question from ABC News during a visit to Arlington Cemetery Saturday.
Just a few days ago, Jay Bookman, writing for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave a really accurate description of Trump:

“Whatever else it will say about him, history will see Donald Trump as a marker in time that divides what came before him from what will come after him. He is a ridiculous figure, especially as president, but the fact that he was elected anyway demonstrates the bankruptcy of that previous era and the repudiation of an approach to politics that had grown stale and unresponsive…..
…… Through incompetence, ignorance and no small degree of malevolence, Trump is hastening the destruction of that previous world. Alliances, networks and understandings that had stood for decades are falling apart, quickly, but the truth is that all that was fated by time to crumble anyway. Wiser leadership would attempt to manage that decline while building replacements, but for the moment that is not the leadership that we have given ourselves.”

Bookman doesn’t spell out the direction he thinks the Democrats should go, but he seems to be fairly accurate about Trump and his contributions to politics. Trump is ridiculous. What is really amazing is that anyone who does not have a lot of money would actually vote for him and continue to support his presidency. A lot of people who will lose their health care actually voted for him and many still support him. It almost seems to be an act of self loathing to support this man and his destruction of the working class. As Bookman points out, many people are seriously unhappy with the direction of this country and already feel they are being attacked by the mainstream political establishment. Trump represents working class people who are jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Trump talks about fixing this county’s health care system and yet the Republicans have done nothing but preventing any positive change for health care. We can expect more of the same.

Saturday, December 15, 2018


Once again I have an opportunity to try and oppose imperialism. Imperialism is a terrible policy and we live in a highly militarised society where killing people are just a polite policy. Join me in supporting this letter. -SJ Otto

We love and wholeheartedly support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal AND we suggest some additions to address the environmental impact of militarism and the bloated Pentagon budget as a source of revenue. Sign your name to our letter below!

Dear Congresswoman-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
We are thrilled with your draft of a Green New Deal and support it wholeheartedly. We would, however, like to suggest some additions to acknowledge the existence of the U.S. military as an environmentally destructive force, and the enormous U.S. military budget (over 60% of discretionary spending) as a potential source of revenue for the green initiatives this nation so desperately needs.
1. We suggest changing this:
The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall recognize that innovative public and other financing structures are a crucial component in achieving and furthering the goals and guidelines relating to social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality and cooperative and public ownership set forth in paragraphs (2)(A)(i) and (6)(B).
to this:
The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall recognize that much of the 60% of discretionary spending now going into the environmentally destructive project of militarism can be moved to environmental protection, and that innovative public and other financing structures. . . .
2. We suggest adding this:
  • a major transition away from the environmental destruction of war and war-preparations, including the closure of most of the U.S. military bases abroad and within the United States and the thorough cleanup of the land and water in those locations.

    To the following list:

    The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall be developed in order to achieve the following goals, in each case in no longer than 10 years from the start of execution of the Plan:
  • 100% of national power generation from renewable sources;
  • building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
  • upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;
  • decarbonizing the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries;
  • decarbonizing, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure;
  • funding massive investment in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases;
  • making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely carbon neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.