Archive for April, 2014

An essay by Senator Bernie Sanders

Friends –

If you were worried by the Supreme Court’s Citizens decision, and now the McCutcheon decision, you will be sad to hear that the news is even worse than you thought it could be. Some of the richest people in America (the Koch Brothers) want to buy the government. And they have made great gains, as Senator Sanders documents.

What can we do?

There seems to be very little, aside from what this letter tries to do: talk to your friends, tell them how you see things. Tell them to be suspicious of candidates who have very deep pockets and support oligarchic views. And vote the bums out, despite their huge wealth.

I myself would rather not having to do this political work. I would like to live in a country where there were no special powers given to someone just because of their wealth. But that place is a dream place. So I write to you today, in the hopes that you will write to your friends, to warn them of the danger.

Peace –


As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear. In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily wealthy families will spend billions of dollars to elect right-wing candidates to the Senate, the House, governors’ mansions and the presidency of the United States. These billionaires already own much of our economy. That, apparently, is not enough. Now, they want to own the United States government as well.

Four years ago, the Supreme Court passed Citizens United. A few weeks ago, they passed the equally horrendous McCutcheon campaign finance decision which gives even more political power to the rich. Now, many Republicans want to push this Supreme Court to go even further. In the name of “free speech,” they want the Court to eliminate all restrictions on campaign spending — a position that Justice Thomas supported in McCutcheon — and a view supported by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Not surprisingly, as it will give them the opportunity to buy politicians at will, this has always been the position of the Koch brothers.

The Koch brothers are the second wealthiest family in America, making most of their money in the fossil fuel industry. According to Forbes Magazine, they saw their wealth increase last year from $68 billion to $80 billion. In other words, under the “anti-business”, “socialist” and “oppressive” Obama administration, their wealth went up by $12 billion in one year.

In their 2012 campaigns, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each spent a little more than $1 billion. For the Koch brothers, spending more than Obama and Romney combined in an election would be a drop in the bucket. They would hardly miss the few billion spent.

Given the reality that the Koch brothers are now the most important and powerful players in American politics, it is important to know what they want and what their agenda is.

Interestingly and not widely known, David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980. He believed that Ronald Reagan was much too liberal. Despite Mr. Koch putting a substantial sum of money into the campaign, his ticket only received one percent of the vote. Most Americans thought the Libertarian Party’s platform of 1980 was extremist and way out of touch with what the American people wanted and needed.

Fast-forward 34 years and the most significant reality of modern politics is how successful David Koch and like-minded billionaires have been in moving the Republican Party to the extreme right. Amazingly, much of what was considered “extremist” and “kooky” in 1980 has become part of today’s mainstream Republican thinking.

Let me give you just a few examples:

In 1980, Libertarian vice-presidential candidate David Koch ran on a platform that called for abolishing the minimum wage. 34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.

Today, not only does virtually every Republican in Congress oppose raising the $7.25 an hour minimum wage, many of them, including Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell and John McCain, are on record for abolishing the concept of the federal minimum wage.

In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party favored “the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.” 34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.

Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party, as seen in the recently passed Ryan budget, is to end Medicare as we know it, cut Medicaid by more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade, and repeal the Affordable Care Act. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Under the Ryan plan, at least 40 million people — 1 in 8 Americans — would lose health insurance or fail to obtain insurance by 2024. Most of them would be people with low or moderate incomes.”

In 1980, the platform of David Koch’s Libertarian Party called for “the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system.” 34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.

Today, the mainstream view of the Republican Party is that “entitlement reform” is absolutely necessary. For some, this means major cuts in Social Security. For others who believe Social Security is unconstitutional or a Ponzi scheme this means the privatization of Social Security or abolishing this program completely for those who are under 60 years of age.

In 1980, David Koch’s Libertarian Party platform stated “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes … We support the eventual repeal of all taxation … As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.” 34 years ago, that was an extreme view of a fringe party that had the support of one percent of the American people.

Today, 75 Republicans in the House have co-sponsored a bill that Paul Ryan has said “would eliminate taxes on wages, corporations, self-employment, capital gains, and gift and death taxes in favor of a personal-consumption tax.”

Here is what every American should be deeply concerned about. The Koch brothers, through the expenditure of billions of dollars and the creation and support of dozens of extreme right organizations, have taken fringe extremist ideas and made them mainstream within the Republican Party. And now with Citizens United (which is allowing them to pour unlimited sums of money into the political process) their power is greater than ever.

And let’s be very clear. Their goal is not only to defund Obamacare, cut Social Security, oppose an increase in the minimum wage or cut federal funding for education. Their world view and eventual goal is much greater than all of that. They want to repeal every major piece of legislation that has been signed into law over the past 80 years that has protected the middle class, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the most vulnerable in this country. Every piece of legislation!

The truth is that the agenda of the Koch brothers is to move this country from a democratic society with a strong middle class to an oligarchic form of society in which the economic and political life of the nation are controlled by a handful of billionaire families.

Our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers.

For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back.

Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders



Workers in Qatar are being forced to work in 122 degree hear, and are being cheated of their wages – many have died, and FIFA, the committee which chooses the sites for the Cup, has said nothing.

Please sign at petition at

or at

And pass the word on.

Thanks, and peace –



Time for a joke: Au Canada!

Oh Canada!

A man in a supermarket tries to buy half a head of lettuce. The produce assistant tells him they sell only whole heads of lettuce. The man persists and asks to see the manager. The produce assistant says he’ll ask his manager about it.

Walking into the back room, the boy said to his manager,

“Some asshole wants to buy half a head of lettuce.”

As he finished his sentence, he turned to find the customer standing right behind him, So he added,

“And this gentleman has kindly offered to buy the other half.”

The manager approved the deal, and the customer went on his way. Later the manager asked the produce assistant,

“I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier. We like people who think on their feet here. Where are you from, son?”

“Canada, sir,” the boy replied.

“Well, why did you leave Canada?” the manager asked.

The boy said,

“Sir, there’s nothing but whores and hockey players up there.”

“Really?” said the manager. “My wife is from Canada.”

“No shit?” replied the boy. “Who’d she play for?”

A present from Robo


This isn’t a democracy, it’s an auction.

Friends –

It doesn’t remind me of the America that I grew up proud to be a citizen of.
We’re worse than a lot of banana republics.

I’m really sick of the newest Supreme Court outrage – they say that now there is NO limit on the amount a “person” can give.

How sick! Just because you make $145000 a day) Like the president of Exxon-Mobil) you should have more infuence with the politicians you can buy than I can? How unfair!

I’d like to be proud of my country again, and to elect politicians who only go into the government to make money.

If you agree, like a senator from Montana just did – Senator Walsh – go to this webpage and give some money if you casn, but spread the word: You are one of us who are sick of venal “Congress people.” Click over to

and tell more citizens how you feel. I think this should be OUR country, not the country of the top 500 corporations.

Peace –



An arresting video:

Friends –

I have just been sent,by a dear friend, the following link:

(a shorter link is:

It is very long – almost two hours.   I found it riveting.

It is vital that the problems which this video documents be addressed.   They are vocal for you, your children, your grandchildren.

I urge that you take the time to watch the whole thing, to assess its credibility.   I doubt that you will find that it could be a hoax.

Peace –