Log Summary

This page details the points of the log page for those who are interested.

I’m starting this page more for myself to chronicle my promotional efforts.

1/6/2019 Created notification for Noam Chomsky to inform of criticism.

Happy New Year Professor Chomsky,

I’ve written a book called “Truth Over Everything, and Liberty is True”, and there are a few pages that are critical of a talk you gave last year in April. Before I publish the book, I am contacting people who I have criticized because I think people should know what other people are saying about them to other people, and to give them an opportunity to respond. The criticism in the second half of the excerpt is much more substantial than in the first part, as the second half criticism relates to measurable propaganda. The comparison between two unlike things in an effort to draw people to conclusions through association, has no educational value, and can only be intent on associating unlike things to cause the value of one to be reduced by the value of the other. The aim of propaganda is to manipulate value, and this aim is identified in the content of your discussion.

Below is the excerpt that includes the criticism followed by an inverted version of the introduction.

Excerpt in response to talk given at Old South Church in Boston, 4/12/2019 (https://youtu.be/WNIHZZ6qlgI)

The content of Chomsky’s speech consisted of comparing the rise of right-wing-ultra nationalism of today to the rise of fascism prior to WWII while emphasizing that the two are incomparable in degree. He mentions how progressives are a counter to ultra-nationalism and expresses his opinion of the Green New Deal.

My Comment: What’s interesting is Bernie Sanders who Chomsky describes as the counter to ultra-nationalism is a key driver of ultra-nationalism. The over emphasis of race, gender, and sexual inequality is largely responsible for the growing popularity of ultranationalist parties and candidates. Sander’s commented in 2016, “white people don’t know what it’s like to be poor”, which offends since most people who are poor in the United States are white. If you’re white and you’re poor, do you support the guy and the party who doesn’t acknowledge your existence, or do you vote for the other guy who tells you he’s going to make things better for you based on an ultra-nationalist line of reasoning? Does the poor white man vote for the candidate or party that has made race inequality a dominant point of the platform, where everything that can be interpreted as racism is asserted as such, and race is pandered to at the neglect of more relevant class-based interests? What are you going to legislate to address the issue, it is already illegal to discriminate based on race and it is socially unacceptable.

Yet race is probably talked about as much today as it was during civil rights, even though a black person born into money is born to advantage whereas a white person born without money is born to disadvantage. To remind you, this comment is arguing that so called progressives like Bernie Sanders mentioned by Chomsky are a driving force behind ultra nationalist popularity.

Today on my way home from a job NPR was reporting on women’s soccer, stating the woman’s championship team is paid about 25% less than a men’s championship team and implying from what I heard that this is a gender issue. I surmise the difference in revenue between what men’s soccer generates and what woman’s soccer generates is probably greater than 25%, meaning despite the woman’s team being paid less than the men’s team in overall dollars, the men are probably underpaid in proportion to overall revenue. It is these kinds of issues, the senseless accusations of sexual harassment over comments that used to be called compliments, that reduces the credibility of progressives. Credibility that should be reduced because these candidate’s motivation is a great distance away from their rhetoric.

The third aspect of the progressive wedge is the over emphasis of LGBT discrimination, which is less about equality and tolerance and more about promotion. There are children thinking about their gender identity, and certainly some weighing the value of gay orientation based on the attention and the protection it may provide. I have no issue with what people choose to do that doesn’t impact the liberty of others, and no one should, but when a great amount of attention is directed at a problem (intolerance to sexual preference), and the prevalence of true incidents is not great, people recognize the disparity and it compromises the credibility of the candidate and party.

Progressives are not a counter to the rise of ultra-nationalism, they are the driver, and I speculate that a great number of people who vote for Trump, do so solely because they hate the racist, feminist, LGBT prioritizing platform of progressives. The counter to ultra-nationalism is the perceived driving force which goes beyond the issues I’ve raised, and race being much more substantial than the second two. What is interesting about it is, typically you would increase promotion of the counter, but the problem is the counter promotes the thing it is promoted to counter. And whether it’s ultra-nationalism or progressivism, neither addresses the general social, economic, or political issues that exist. Progressives rhetorically, but not substantively or feasibly.

He mentions the democrats may have given Trump the 2020 election with their focus on Russian collusion allegations, something I agree with and wrote a few months ago, a point of concurrence.

I don’t understand the point of comparing the rise of fascism to the rise of ultra-nationalism while emphasizing the ideologies are mildly similar but far from the same. I guess it is a good way to waste 10 minutes in an hour long talk and promote the term ultra-nationalism.

What are the functioning democracies? Which states function as democracies? As in the interests represented through the state reflects the will and interest of the public?

Very good point in regard to the CEO of JP Morgan, he can take an ethical stance on investment in fossil fuel which will lead to his replacement, or he can continue JP Morgan’s investment in fossil fuels. Either way, JP Morgan is going to continue investing in fossil fuels.

I think Chomsky overestimates the significance of Anti-Ballistic Missiles treaty. The only explanation I read I’m almost embarrassed to express because of how obviously incorrect it is. The reasoning stated if one power was close to a 100% efficient anti-ballistic missile system the other side may launch a preemptive strike, rather than lose their deterrent capacity. I’m sure Chomsky probably has another reason, but this reason for an ABM treaty is wrong because technological advances could render the systems useless, meaning the loss of the deterrent capacity due to a break-through in ABM, is at worst a technological problem which will be overcome. And they did. The US has ABM systems but they are useless because of the cost of defense verses the cost of attacking. It’s a hat on a hat, and the attacking side can deploy more warheads, some of which can be conventional warheads not nuclear as decoys, and enough nuclear warheads will get through. While I don’t think a first strike caused by developing an ABM system is realistic and neither did the Soviet Union, the idea was proposed by McNamara. If he proposed the idea, he proposed it because in considering ABM systems, first strike is something he would at least consider discussing with a president or recommending it if the Soviet Union would have been near developing a 100% effective ABM system.

The point of criticism is, Chomsky mentions withdraw from the ABM treaty as if it is a significant point of policy for ensuring the security of the world, and the ABM treaty does not decrease the likelihood of nuclear conflict. Chomsky knows as treaties go, the United States only follows treaties when it serves there interests and breaks them when it does not, meaning any significance he would try to argue the ABM treaty has, is contradicted through his career of pointing out how little weight treaties have in the formation of US policy.

Chomsky is disingenuous or plain wrong in his assertion about the GND that the disagreement is it should be a little different here or there. That it’s doable. He doesn’t cite the legislation; he cites an economist who has done what? Accounted for the cost of replacing fossil fuel generated energy with renewable energy? The measurement of costs, anticipated gains made through construction and permanent jobs in the expansion of a new industry. Measures anticipated indirect presumed benefits of public investment in the economy? It is whatever anyone says it is, because you can accomplish the goals listed in the bill on paper however you want to.

With what political will? This is the main argument against a GND that no one brings up. You don’t’ pile the mission statement of 30 bills into a single piece of legislation and try to pass it. As I wrote about in an article on Bernie Sanders GND, some items will be easier to pass than other and some may serve interests that will aid in their passage. Yet these interests that benefit from 1 item might be averse to the other 29, and in this, the 1 item you could pass, is locked in a cell with 29 others that you can’t. Some of these items in the GND have nothing to do with climate change.

In what way is the Green New Deal a remarkable accomplishment? The sources I’ve read about the feasibility and economic effect of something similar to the GND, are little more than measuring energy demand and comparing the cost of energy production from renewable sources, which says nothing to most challenging aspect of it which is implementation. Once we’re past this, the problem of the GND is there is no GND. I’m so tired of writing this but the GND is a list of problems, goals, and was the creation of a select committee to work on achieving those goals along very unspecific guidelines. I saw a headline that read “We need to fund the green new deal”. There is no GND to fund, the only appropriation is to fund the research of a select committee. These are indisputable facts that somehow the people of this country fail to acknowledge. Republicans don’t mention it because it makes more sense to perpetuate the myth and equate the GND with socialism, the GND with progressives, and socialism with totalitarianism and the failed attempts at socialism undermined by US and other western interference. (Previous sentence of associations means in short, that the republicans see the GND as something that is more valuable to call socialism than it is to expose as being nothing, although I did hear at least one republican whose name I don’t remember stating essentially that, that it is nothing.)

NOTE: This speech and most of my comment was written prior to Sander’s GND, which while still vague in many aspects, does explain how grid energy infrastructure will be placed under the Power Marketing Administrations, and fossil fuel power generation will be regulated out of existence, which is something I support, but as these Green New Deals go, it represents only one of the stated goals.

Chomsky continues to reinforce the non-impactful efforts of activists who comprise most of his acolytes by stating climate change being at the forefront of discussion is a tremendous change. Climate change has been at the forefront of discussion. Obama campaigned on climate change. It is the proliferation of information related to climate change and the impact of climate change which has it at the forefront of discussion, which takes place outside of activist circles. He makes this point to stroke his base probably knowing full well he’s full of shit. Funny part about that, I paused the video just prior to the applause after he said “that shows you the type of things that can be done” while I wrote the comment. Which is to say the applause reinforced my conclusion that “he makes this point to stroke his base”. You don’t know it happened like that but I do so I thought I would share my personal affirmation.

Additional commentary: It’s almost embarrassing to have missed this, actually the fact I wrote that reveals it is, but I implied in the comment that the comparison between the fascist regimes of the 21st century and the alt-right ultra-nationalists of today served no purpose, and was an intentional waste of time.

I imagined some complacency for a man who has been doing something for so long, and preaching to an audience that usually misses many of the points he makes judging by some of the questions during Q&A portions of talks I’ve seen. Despite his best efforts to inform, and his advice about organizing, and still saying in 2019 that a sit in strike is one step away from a revolution, nothing has changed. We can argue about the significance of social changes, and I’m not saying woman’s suffrage and civil rights were insignificant, but neither affected the power structure. Women being included in the illusion of a representative government doesn’t compromise the interest of industry. Civil rights didn’t compromise any businesses interests either, being a necessary social progression to preserve order, which is good for business. Power is where it has always been, beyond the reach of the common people, whose efforts are under rewarded and maintained through the manipulation of their values. I imagined he made those comparisons (ultra-nationalism and fascism) while stating they weren’t really comparable to run the clock and get back to something more interesting.

In the sorry job of editing I’m doing for my book, this talk was brought back to my attention. What are the purposes of comparing groups whose similarities are so far apart in terms of degree, that it renders the subjects incomparable? The leaders of these ultranationalist countries are not even using violence to impose their ideologies or maintain power, which is a significant distinction from the fascist regimes he’s making comparisons to. Israel is not the exception of ultra-nationalists not using violence, since violence against the Palestinians and the cause of Israeli expansion has been going on for over 60 years, and what is being called ultra-nationalism represented in the regimes of today, are less than a decade old. Even Sisi in Egypt is probably no more repressive than Mubarak, and unlike the fascists of the 20th century, Egypt isn’t invading anyone and is in the sphere of US subordinate states.

What purposes does this serve? Chomsky protects himself by stating on more than 1 occasion the two are not comparable. Then why compare them? Almost immediately after saying they’re not even comparable, he contradicts the sentiment by quoting Mark Twain, saying “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes”, going on to say “there are too many similarities”. He fails to qualify the assertion of similarities with any direct comparisons between the ideologies or actions of regimes today to the regimes he mentions.

The comparison causes his audience (which includes more than those who are in attendance, this video which is probably not the only upload of it on the internet received over 200,000 views) to associate the fascist regimes he mentions, with the administrations of right wing elected leaders of today. It doesn’t matter that the two are incomparable and Chomsky points that out, he has already made the association between them, meaning the value of one is affected by the value of the other. Trump supporters are not only bad for what they believe or what the radical left says they believe; they’ve been made worse because they share unspecified similarities with regimes headed by Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco. Although as Chomsky says it’s nothing near what those 20th century regimes were, the “too many similarities” can be perceived as something that can grow in degree over time. The comparison, introduces the possibility of a negative outcome, (growth of ultra-nationalism towards fascism), and uncertainty, which are the ingredients of fear.

As a result of this kind of propaganda, you have the emergence of groups like Antifa, who think they’re the last line of defense before some white national socialist party captures the white house and congress, dismisses the supreme court and rewrites the constitution. Interestingly enough, while Trump supporters or even the patriot types will defend themselves when attacked, Antifa is intent on attacking people for their cause against fascism. There are videos and reports of the group beating up veterans, and attacking people for their presumed political beliefs. This is much more similar to fascists by way of comparison of the tactics: the use of force to impose your ideology on others.

It is interesting that Chomsky’s efforts to inspire people to action against ultra-nationalism, is likely contributing to grass roots fascism, that claims to be against itself. I mention elsewhere the example at Berkley where leftist protestors attempted to prevent a speaker from speaking and her audience from gaining access to the venue. Am I doing what Chomsky is trying to do by conflating Antifa with fascism? No, because I’m not alluding to “too many” ideological similarities without mentioning any examples, I’m making a direct and observable comparison of behavior, which is the use of violence to impose your ideology on others. That is something that the fascists of the 20th century did, and that is something Antif does and expresses interest in doing.

This would be good experiment for Seq Comp, to measure the effectiveness of this propaganda. I define propaganda as any information with a bias which means the information by nature is an effort to manipulate value. I have a true bias (truth over everything), it represents my highest value because I believe truth is essential to communication, understanding and correcting problems, and is required for the liberation of the species, an endeavor that has value in the liberation of myself, communicatively as well as circumstantially, and value in the pride of the accomplishment or progress towards the accomplishment. The purpose of propaganda is inherent in the bias, the purpose of the material is creating the same value of the subject that you have of the subject through the facts and reasoning provided. This could be measured. It would be interesting to have a 1000 people of different backgrounds and political affiliations watch the first 11 minutes of the talk, and ask questions about how that information influenced their opinion of ultra-nationalist states and members. An explanation of ultra-nationalists as Chomsky intended the word, followed by a brief survey. They watch the video, and take the survey again but are also asked questions requiring a written response, to gauge how likely they believe the ultra-nationalist wave of states could evolve into anything comparable to the 20th century fascists? Measure the change in value and measure the answers to questions like the perceived probability of the rise of fascism. I anticipate, the propaganda would be most effective in persuading those who have a moderate or low opinion of ultranationalists, and probably less effective in persuading those who have a positive opinion of those who the term identifies.

On his last point, although correct about the point of Russian interference not playing a significant role in influencing public opinion or the elections, his example of Israel interfering in US elections is not an example of that. Netanyahu meeting with congress to criticize the policy of the president doesn’t have an impact on elections, it has an impact on policy.

I anticipate Chomsky would probably attempt to undermine my points by reducing this criticism to an assertion that he is responsible for the formation of extremist groups like Antifa, to repel it away as an exaggeration. To what extent this group is influenced by Chomsky I don’t know, although I imagine at least some members are familiar with some of his work. That is not the point. The point is that Chomsky made comparisons between two groups, without providing any substantive examples of the similarities, and nothing that improves the understanding of either group through the comparison. The only purpose this serves is to influence the value of one by comparing it to the other. Whether this is a conscious intent only he knows, but it will accomplish those purposes. The assertion is Chomsky is manipulating value through association, not allowing substance to influence value through the merit of the substance as it relates to an individual’s existing values.

The purposes are probably perceived as justifying the means, where although value may be affected, the effect of the propaganda is good because it inspires people (some through fear) to become more active civically. I diverge from this line of reasoning because I think it contributes to false perceptions that obstruct communication and cause poor prioritization in strategy for addressing issues of popular importance. Outside of this example, the idea that deception or misleading people is justified by the ends of gaining or amplifying a person’s willingness to participate to advance the causes of a group, is a common issue with propagandists who do most of the thinking for people in this country.

After this criticism of Chomsky, you may be surprised to discover that I think Noam Chomsky is one of the greatest human beings who has ever lived. He is a store of knowledge and understanding of history, public policy, public relations, as well as other subjects that is unrivaled in breadth and depth by any other organic reservoir of intelligence. Which doesn’t mean everything he says is correct, but he can be trusted as a credible source of facts even if you draw different conclusions from those facts, or recognize when he’s using his knowledge to change people’s value of something based on association and not on substance.

Discovering Chomsky was key to my intellectual development, not based on the little bit of his material I read, or lectures and interviews I heard from him, but in the material and people he brought up. A few examples are represented in this book. I only know of Robert A. McGuire’s research because Chomsky mentioned him, which caused me to read his paper that summarized the key findings of his research, which then led me to Charles Beard, other articles, and Chomsky brought up the constitutional debates which I began reading, and all of this contributed to my understanding of the intents this country emerged from. The same is true of Thomas Ferguson who was referenced by Chomsky, as well as others like Lippmann, Dewey, and Bernays. I read the Occupation of the Philippines by Blount because I was skeptical about statements he made concerning the occupation. Those statements relating to the order by Jacob H Smith who commanded occupying forces in the Philippines near the beginning of the 20th century to “kill everyone over the age of 10”.

Chomsky was key in directing me to sources early on in my intellectual awakening. In the last 4 years or so, outside of this referenced talk, I may have viewed one interview, or on one occasion I went to his website to find a quote from his material. He isn’t involved in research that interests me, and his role as it relates to the general public is that of an analyst and interpreter of information. I think for myself, and I have pretty much the same access to information with the exception of some academic journals, so I don’t keep up on what he’s saying or doing unless he’s on Democracy Now.
If I had an interest in some area of public policy history, foreign or domestic, in the last 60 years, the first book I would read is a book by Chomsky on the subject because I know he is going to supply information from credible sources, and include and address popular misconceptions or opposing conclusions, which positions me to weigh the evidence and the assembly of that evidence, and decide what I believe is true, moral, efficient, agreeable, and what interests it serves or is trying to serve.

Despite his reliability as a source of information, I imagine there is probably more that I disagree with than I agree him about, although some of it may speak to different interests. I don’t share his enthusiasm for progressive democrats. I recognize they are disingenuous, knowing better than what they sell to the public, paid public spokesman for the discontent of the public, while overemphasizing prejudice, and unable to accomplish anything meaningful for the public. I think Chomsky recognizes the election of the rhetoric as some material evidence of what him and activists have contributed to. He has an interest in the credibility of, and the enthusiasm in progressive politicians, which potentially compromises his ability to judge between the rhetoric, and what someone like Bernie Sanders has accomplished in 30 years. This guy is a politician, and he will say whatever it takes to get elected, and I don’t like people creating disappointment for others for their own gain, and worse yet, deceiving people into thinking someone is going to solve their problems when their problems are not addressed in his plans, and those plans he cannot get through congress. Through Chomsky’s endorsement of these figures, I associate their positions on other matters with his which adds to the presumed differences.

Chomsky Response: 1/8/2020

Thanks for your thoughts

Sanders may have occasionally misspoken, but it’s not true that he overemphasizes race, gender, and sexual inequality.

I agree with historian of fascism Robert Paxton and the many others who think it is worthwhile to consider the echoes of the 30s today, while emphasizing the crucial differences, as I did.

Conclusion: Chomsky doesn’t address the major sources of criticism related to his statements about the GND, my assessment of what an economist favorable to the GND is actually measuring, and most importantly, why he would tell an audience that ultra-nationalism shares “many similarities” with fascism without providing the basis for the statement. That is the core of the criticism.

He says that Bernie Sanders may have misspoke in reference to white people don’t know what it’s like to be poor, to live in ghettos, or to be harassed by the police. He misspoke because it resulted in criticism, otherwise, if there was a positive response, he would have made more statements like that. Ironically, the statement was in response to his “racial blind spots”, where Sanders is doing the classical liberal I’m not racist, and Ill prove it by telling you white people are racist, because they don’t know what black people go through. It reveals his own prejudice against white people, and is significant because it reveals he has racial priorities. Sanders in effect doubled down on the statement the next day saying he meant to say that traditionally when you’re talking about ghettos you’re talking about African American communities, and white people don’t know what kind of pressure they’re under. It didn’t impact his campaign much, because white Sanders supporters are among those who overemphasize racial discrimination, those leftist types who typically have never been poor, or in a ghetto, who think every white person comes from where they come from, because these are the only people they’ve been exposed to.

I don’t have a concise way to summarize the overemphasis or racial discrimination, although there are some examples in this book, and I do have an idea for research to quantify the assertion. For now he says Sanders doesn’t overemphasize racial discrimination, and I say it is overemphasized not only by Sanders, but in this country as a whole.

He mentions Robert Paxton and others to qualify the similarities between ultra-nationalism and fascism, and I don’t deny that there is probably some loose comparative basis, although I would guess most of the comparisons used between ultra-nationalists and fascists, could probably be made between ultra-nationalists and other adminstrations in US history. My point isn’t that there is no comparative basis between facists and ultra-nationalists, as a creative mind can draw similarities between even unlike groups. My point is, that these similarities were invoked in a talk by a person who is regarded by many on the left as foremost authority on political subjects, without citing any examples of these simularities. Many people who are not going to read Robert Paxton, and making the claim to this audience causes the audience to associate ultra-nationalists with fascism, and this substancelessly changes their value.

1/6/2019 Created submission of book to Democracy Now to inform of criticism.

Email to Democracy Now

The interest of the magazine or newspaper publisher is to attract attention for the purpose of selling subscriptions, advertising, or attracting donations. People prefer information that reinforces their beliefs. There are negative feelings associated with discovering something believed to be true is not true, or something believed to be good is bad. Just as people avoid a hot stove because touching it feels bad, they also avoid information and sometimes refuse to acknowledge information for that reason. For this reason, the publisher who is usually born out of some bias, must publish material that reinforces an audience’s bias, to maintain attention and maintain the publication. Any material created without a bias will offend all biases, and be suffocated by its propensity to offend, regardless of the value the material may have in contributing to understanding, how novel and comprehensive the information may be, or the potential of the these observations and the realization of these ideas to produce dramatic changes, in the way human beings perceive themselves and how they understand the organization of the world, and their role within that organism.

This isn’t the purpose of my correspondence but as a viewer of Democracy Now I have noticed that Democracy Now’s bias has drifted slightly to the right. Interesting considering how maybe 5 years ago, during the Obama administration a topic on Democracy Now was a general drifting to the right, where the positions of democrats, most notably Obama who said as much, that 20 years ago they would have been considered moderate republicans. This drift created a deficiency in supply of more liberal candidates, which opened the door for the new progressive left. As this fragment of the democratic party drifted to the left, Democracy Now drifted to the right to meet them in the middle, and has become their MSNBC. I don’t know what the motivation is, sometimes you have to adjust your bias as the bias of your viewers change, or change your bias to attract more viewers and encourage a broader or deeper kind of donor. I won’t impose any speculation on that motivation, but I do know in the 2016 campaign Democracy Now aired stories that were critical of Bernie Sanders, and in 2019, seems like his personal PR broadcast, going so far as attempting to reduce his heart attack requiring two stints, to chest pains requiring hospitalization with a common surgery that takes place 50 some thousand times per year. That’s from memory not verbatim but close to it. It is worded intent on reducing the severity of what transpired to ensure people concerned with the durability of Sanders health wouldn’t be concerned about the heart attack.

I’ve written a book, and I’m contacting Democracy Now for a few different reasons. First because Democracy did draw my attention to certain issues that would inspire some of the articles. Second, because there is a section in the book that chronicles comment exchanges on YouTube and many of those exchanges are from the Democracy Now channel, and some of my comments are critical of Democracy Now’s bias. I don’t quote the show, and as I understand the law, social media posts are considered public utterance as far as publishing the exchanges. I wanted to share the content with you because I think people and entities should know if you intend to be publically critical of them. This section is small compared to the overall content in the book, but it is important as it provides a window into broadcast bias, what the eyes and hears miss, as well as provides some insight into how people are inclined to maintain their position even if they cannot adequately defend it, which means they don’t understand it. This relates to other material in the book about denial, associative value, and the discomfort of confronting information that compromises value.

I still watch Democracy Now despite being all too aware of their overt bias, because the news it reports is relevant to my interests, and rarely does Democracy Now fail to accurately report the facts, even if those facts are reported to maximize the appearance of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, gender inequality, the divinity of progressive democrats, among other things. Democracy Now is less preoccupied with the tabloid politics of what who said and how it affects them in the latest polls, although I think over the last year, probably driven by the demand for anti-trump stories and positions, as well as the demand for positive stories on Bernie Sanders and AOC, Democracy Now has paid more attention to these stories than they may have in the past. I don’t have a specific example off the top of my head, but I remember quite a few mornings watching DN and being disappointed about emphasis on some irrelevant thing Trump said, or Bernie said and being off put by it. Democracy Now is the best of a bad bunch in terms of media. Which may be bad for Democracy Now because it exposes them to me and draws attention to their bias.

The second reason I am contacting Democracy Now is I hope to create exposure for the book. While it may seem foolish to think an independent news agency would be interested in promoting a book that is critical of them and the people who they support, there are a few foreseeable interests. First is the opportunity to confront the criticism, which if done effectively would strengthen or reinforce the positions of viewers and of the Democracy Now brand. It’s also an opportunity to understand what premises and reasoning differing views grow out of it. Especially when you have an opportunity to have a guest whose positions, explanations, and ideas are original. More important than the first two, is you may recognize the value of the content, and this value may exceed the value of ignoring the criticism.

The third the reason I am contacting Democracy Now and providing a rough copy of my manuscript is I am still looking for a publisher, and Democracy Now may be able to refer me if they think the book possess sufficient merit to attract the interest of a publisher.

Both of the scenarios may be long shots in terms of attracting interest, and I should expect either to be ignored or resisted. The tone of this message probably seems extremely arrogant, but this is a reflection of the confidence in my material, and my opinion of Democracy Now, where I think the organization is built on enough integrity that if they see something that have should attention directed to it, that they would direct that attention to it.

I could be completely wrong. I typically have as much tact as an aluminum bat. I am very honest and straight forward, and the offense to the DN bias may prevent any intern or staff member tasked with reading it, from grasping the reasoning in areas of divergence. Yet while I emphasize the criticism and points of divergence, I think our common general goals of increasing people’s quality of life and empowering people are the same. There are probably many more areas of agreement than disagreement.

The book is called Orion 2020: Truth Over Everything and Liberty is True. The Orion 2020 portion of the title is a gimmick for whatever value it may have during an election year, and name recognition. Truth Over Everything is the intelligent value of the truth, where information that challenges your beliefs is not avoided, because your value of a person, position, or any other thing is not greater than your value of the truth, and this explained in the material. Liberty is true points out a very basic fact that all the results on this planet are the result of the creatures on this planet and physical laws. We also establish universal self-interest which is everyone wants to do what they want to do. Morality shouldn’t be governed by cooperation, love, or unity, but by understanding that the exercise of liberty extends to the point where it interferes with someone’s liberty. Physically, or circumstantially, whereby systems exist through collective consent, and some individuals benefit from or think they benefit from systems that leave others circumstantially trapped; without the means or opportunity to acquire the means to do what they want to do.

To evaluate the criticism and how it relates to DN’s interests, I have a rough copy of the manuscript I would be willing to allow DN to preview. I’m still putting together bibliography, acknowledgements, will do some additional editing, and I don’t feel great about the introduction, but I do feel good about the material itself. Where I’m at circumstantially, and because some of the material will lose relevancy with time (a small portion), I wanted to begin contacting parties I’ve critiqued, clear quotes, contact media, publishers, and investors, to be prepared for the final product.

I’ve inverted the introduction, putting the second part of it first and the first part of it second. The second part of the introduction provides a summary of the content, whereas the first part of the introduction speaks generally about what the book hopes to address.

Any thoughts, criticism, feedback, or even an explanation related to lack of interest would be appreciated. Whatever results, I appreciate the time and consideration given to this email, and generally thought you may like to know my criticisms of your program, and the people you promote on your show.

NO Response

1/6/2019 Created request to allow quotations for Thomas Ferguson.

Happy New Year Professor Ferguson,

I presume you are probably busy gathering campaign finance data on the 2020 elections, or some other important work related to Industrial Structure and Party Competition series, so I’ll be brief.

I’ve written a book I intend to publish very soon. There is a chapter in the book called “Government as the Facilitator of Money to Power”, that relies on data from the 2014 and 2018 papers in the series mentioned above. There is a quotes from the papers in the chapter, but it is primarily referencing the data, and summarizing other content in the latest paper.

That use of your work is not the reason I am contacting you, but it is worth mentioning since I am contacting you about the following use of your work. In another Chapter, “Centers for Economic Planning General Outline” I quote your material and add emphasis that could be interpreted as an endorsement of the idea based on the quote. This is not the reason I quoted the material and added the emphasis that I did. The quote defines what is required for popular interests to be represented in a government where representation depends on the money supporting an interest, versus the money behind any interest the represented interest may harm. Centers for Economic Planning is an idea that addresses a number of systemic issues, but the main issue is popular representation in government.

The idea that popularly funded campaigns cannot compete in federal elections has been challenged to some degree by Sander’s bid for the democratic nomination, as well as progressive stars like AOC, an Illan Omar. My opinion of these congressional exceptions notwithstanding, if we presume these are well intended exceptions, and beyond the popular exceptions I mentioned, even if there are 50 (I don’t think campaign finance supports this number), it still doesn’t amount to much in terms of represented interests in congress. Furthermore, Sanders ability to stay competitive in the 2016 primary through popular funding, does not mean he can be competitive in the general election through popular funding. Despite raising 240 million in the 2016 primary, (and I’m sure you know better than I do what he’s raised this far,) he is going to need to raise 3 to 4 times that amount to have enough money to compete in the general election. Maybe more depending on media bias if the viewers are more attracted to the audacity of Trump verses the pandering of Sanders, and sponsors who are more than likely more inclined to Trump than to Sanders. I think we’ll find out, because I can’t imagine Bloomberg’s impact on the race doing much other than fragmenting the vote for Biden, unless he can pull enough from Biden and Warren to win the nomination. I think the democratic establishment would prefer Bloomberg to Biden, who will equally serve the interests that the democratic party represents, but who is also a better front man to sell the public on policy.

Popular representation in government is still an issue despite these developments. The idea for Centers for Economic Planning comes from a place where the influence of money in politics is uncorrectable. I’m not sure there are any living examples of a representative government, where money, typically represented through industry, isn’t the driving interest of policy. Beyond this, one’s ability to influence public opinion depends on the amount of money they have at their disposal, meaning the requirement to be competitive in elections is the solicitation of money, naturally, from those who can most easily give, and from those who can give the most. Centers for Economic Planning was born out of this reasoning.

California has recently passed state legislation to allow municipalities to create public banks. If these banks began purchasing private assets, and businesses, the state would benefit from the additional revenue from the profits in their budgets. The problem is it doesn’t do a whole lot to empower the people, who don’t have oversight in selecting management, directing investment, only indirectly benefits (through petition and referendum) from the increased revenue, and whose position isn’t much improved whether a portion of the market is owned by the state, or if that portion of the market is owned privately.

A Center for Economic Planning is funded through a tax but is a private company owned by all the residents in a jurisdiction where it is created. Management is elected, and there are mechanisms for direct input and oversight by the public regarding the investment strategy and allocation of profits. Since the CEP is a private entity, similar to a corporation in many ways, and will eventually own a significant portion of the market, it will have the resources to compete against industry in the influence of politics and representation. People can democratically wield the economic power required to direct legislative power. The following is the quote, and the use of the quote with emphasis in its immediate context.

Small contributions are not wholly insignificant, but they are irrelevant in terms of carrying an interest. Small contributions of less than $250 are capable of swinging the balance of overall funds between two candidates, but they are non-influential as they do not grant the individuals face time with politicians, and do not shape policy; whereas contributions of $10,000 or more are attached to policy shaping interests and offer donors or lobbyists access to politicians.

To perpetuate the illusion that money in politics is less significant, money raised by the winning candidate is often compared to money raised by the losing candidate. Regardless of the outcome, the fact remains the winning candidate and the losing candidate both raised sums that position them to be competitive. The real measure of money in politics would be a comparison between the money raised by those who are competitive, represented by the two business parties, and the success of all other candidates. The US House of Representatives consists of 235 democrats, and 197 republicans. The Senate 51 republicans to 47 democrats with 2 independents who caucus with democrats. In this, we find money wins 100% of the time.
In a nation with CEPs, the interest of the public is represented through the CEP who is capable of contributing influential sums that shape policy, who is also able to finance non-business party candidates.

Another benefit of a CEP is akin to what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. As previously stated, when tax dollars are being divided by industry, directly and indirectly, outside of government contracts, the legislation that results is beneficial to entire sectors of the economy. A CEP, which will own large scale enterprises in many different sectors will benefit from the efforts of corporations in the same sector, which will contribute to the prosperity of these enterprises, and consequently the prosperity of the people who own the CEPs, i.e. the people of every jurisdiction where a CEP exists.
Thomas Ferguson, the foremost authority on investment politics, wrote the following “…political action is far more costly in terms of both time and money than classical democratic theories imagined. As a consequence, popular control of the state depends on the extent to which ordinary citizens can bear those costs. Nothing metaphysical is implied here: to control the state citizens need to be able to share costs and pool resources easily. In practical terms, this requires functioning organizations – unions, neighborhood organizations, cooperatives, etc. – in civil society that represent them without enormous expenditures of time and money. There is one and only one guarantee of this: those organizations have to be controlled by and financially dependent on them.” (4)

4: Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen, and Lie Chen, January 2018 “Industrial Structure and Party Competition in the Age of Hunger Games: Donald Trump and the 2016 Election”, pp 22, and 23. Source : Golden Rule: The Investment Theory Of Party Competition And The Logic Of Money-Driven Political Systems, Chicago, University of Chicago Press

A Center for Economic Planning creates ownership on a progressively major scale from among those who own little or nothing. This provides a majority of the population the resources to compete in politics and have their interests represented in government even if those interests are opposed to the interest of industry and wealth. A Center for Economic Planning is an “organization…that represents them (populous) without enormous expenditures of time and money. (which is)…controlled by and financially dependent on them”.

The criticism of a CEP after understanding that it is constructed to operate exactly as described, is feasibility. As I mentioned in the email, it is intended for creation in a medium sized city, half a million or more. I’m from Milwaukee, a population of about 550,000, represented in their local government by 15 city council members and a mayor, meaning in Milwaukee, a CEP would depend on the population understanding what it is and how to use it, and persuading about 10 people, or electing 10 people in a municipal election, but probably some combination of the two. The greatest hurdle is educating the public, which is another subject of the book itself. The goal of this idea, is the creation of one CEP followed by a national contagion brought on by its success, and the economic and political empowerment of the masses unlike anything that has ever preceded it.

I’m not using your quoted material as an endorsement of the idea, I’m only showing what you say is required for popular control of the state based on the authority of your research, and making the claim that a Center for Economic Planning satisfies that requirement.

I don’t think the use of the quote in consideration of the length of the quoted material would fall under fair use for educational purposes, first because it isn’t necessary to convey a new idea, instead it is used as more of a substantiation of points already made differently. Clearly it isn’t included for commentary or critique. I am requesting permission to use the quote in my book. If you are willing to grant me permission, do you have the authority to grant that permission, or is there a publisher I need to contact to get that permission? I presume wherever that authority rests, you will be the ultimate influence that determines the outcome.

The quote from the other chapter I don’t believe requires clearing because it represents educational value. There is one quote that summarizes conclusions that serve as premises for arguments where the premise is better served by a quote from the researcher, than it is by summarizing the conclusions and citing it.

I’ve attached both chapters if you are interested in understanding the broader context that these quotes are used in, and if you are interested in the general context of the material itself, I can send a rough copy of the manuscript.
I appreciate the time taken reviewing.
Sincerely,
Orion Simerl

1/9/2020 Created and sent notification of criticism to Andrew Bacevich

Hello, my name is Orion Simerl, I am in the process of publishing a book called “Truth Over Everything and Liberty is True”.  The title expresses in the first statement the intelligent value of the truth.  A major issue with this species is denial, which takes place when a person refuses to expose themselves to or acknowledge information that challenges their beliefs.  The refusal ultimately being a product of the negative feelings associated with discovering something a person believed to be true is false, or something they believed to be good was bad.  People prefer the lies that have formed them, instead of what is true, at a detriment to their liberty, and a detriment to the liberty of the species.  The second statement in the title is stating an obvious but overlooked fact: that all the results on this planet exist through the choices of people on this planet, and the system they choose that molds them.  The second aspect of the statement which serves as the basis for morality, is liberty is true because all people at all times want to do what they want to do.  

In this book there is a section featuring social media comments and exchanges, some of which take place through Youtube and many of which are from Democracy Now.  I saw you were featured on Democracy Now today, and this email is not in reference to that appearance but to an appearance last year in March.  I am contacting everyone I’ve been critical of in the book.  The criticism is more a difference of opinion.  In the interview your main point centers around the idea that the US should give Saudi Arabia less preferential treatment since the United States is no longer dependent on SA oil, and my comment contends that Saudi Arabia’s importance to the United States does not reduce to oil.  

In addition to notifying people of criticism, I am offering a pre-published copy of the book as a promotional tool, but also because the material itself is important, spanning multiple disciplines, and including novel ideas to address issues of economic inequality, representation in the federal government, climate change, as well as symptomatic issues.  Bear in mind, the excerpt below which relates to your interview last year comes from an informal section of the book, a comment section and does not supply citations, with some being supplied in other sections of the book, but the facts the reasoning relies are not controversial or generally disputed.  The comment is below, and if you are interested in previewing the book I will send you a copy.  The introduction is available at orioncs.net

Democracy Now: Andrew Bacevich: The US Saudi Relationship is a Principle Source of Destablization in the Middle East

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnKb2GxI8KY&feature=emb_logo)

The video is as the title suggests based largely on the point that the US should have a different relationship with Saudi Arabia because the US is no longer dependent on middle east oil. Bacevich position is that energy independence should bring more accountability to Saudi Arabia and lead to reduced tension with Iran.  He reduces the importance of the region to oil, and my comment seeks to broaden the basis for the importance of the region and the preferential treatment given to Saudi Arabia.

1st Comment Orion Simerl: The strategy is much deeper than ensuring access to the resources of the oil rich region. He calls the policy towards the region by the United States misguided because it has led to the destabilization of the region. However, from a strategic stand point, destabilization is a desired goal especially for regimes not under the influence of the United States.

If we remove the sanctions from Iran that have been in place to different degrees since 1980, with the exception of 2 years under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the independent oil and gas abundant nation achieves a much greater level of development. Iran becomes not only a great influence in the region, but an influence globally. This influence is a detriment to the US because Iran is not subordinate to US interests. Iran’s prosperity would have been further accelerated had the US not supported the Iraq invasion of Iran, which US support was key in prolonging.

The removal of Qaddafi in Libya we all know had nothing to do with humanitarian intervention but was an undertaking to remove an obstacle to US interests abroad, more specifically to Western European interest in Africa, primarily France. What applies to Libya applies to the middle east.

Saudi Arabia is important because it is a subordinate state, and even more so, because it has the most desirable form of government for subordinate states, authoritarian with power emanating from a few individuals. Some may argue Saudi Arabia is not subordinate citing the war in Yemen, the assassination of Jamal Kashoggi or even the sheltering of Saudi citizens in the US from US law. But none of this is detrimental to US interests despite the political “challenges” these kind of incidents create.

Saudi Arabia is subordinate in the sense that they do not challenge US interests. They are not concerned with Israel and their illegal settlements and plans for annexation in the west bank, the siege of Gaza, the denial of the Palestinian’s right to self determination, or the war crimes committed against the Palestinians. They are not supporting revolutions or resistance from people attempting to free themselves from governments who put the interests of the US ahead of the interests of the people. The relationship with Saudi Arabia is still important in the absence of energy dependency.
To go further, what happens in Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait if the US does not bomb civilian infrastructure and does not push for the murderous and strangling sanctions in the 90s? We can speculate Iraq under Saddam may have continued in military conquest but it is unlikely given the lessons learned from the invasion of Kuwait. Even in the absence of the normalization of relationships between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iraq still maintains stability, an increased level of development, and is a force of influence globally that opposes US interests in the developing world.

US intervention in Syria was intent on weakening Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as weakening Syria which was also a non-aligned state. When I refer to intervention in Syria, I am referring to denying the progress that may have taken place through the constitutional reforms passed through referendum which were undermined by the US and Europe, arming, training, and providing diplomatic support for militants. That intervention led to the civil war.

Denying Palestinians statehood is important in the sense that no good can come out of the existence of another non-subordinate state, regardless of how far away they would be from having any influence beyond their borders.

In a middle east without US influence and intervention the growing power of each nation encourages cooperation among these nations. As I often state the goal of US foreign policy is market access or geostrategic purposes related to market access. The middle east is still important to the US not because the US requires access to their markets, but because these nations if allowed to develop in the absence of US interference would likely become an obstacle to US goals globally.

Saudi Arabia is important as a purchaser of military arms, an importer of US goods, a holder of a significant amount of US bonds, and as an investor in US industry.  

Response from Andrew Bacevich 1/10/2020

Dear Orion Simerl,
You are distorting my view, but that’s okay.  Good luck with your book.

Conclussion: If I were responding to someone who I thought was distoring my view, I would point out how what they did distorted it. Feel free to watch the interview, but below is a summary and the excerpts from the program and how they relate to how I represented his view.

Amy Goodman mentioned the appointment of General Abizaid to be the ambassador to Saudi Arabia. She quoted Abizaid in 2008 admiting the invasion of Iraq was about oil, and provides the terms by the United States for the region by saying “we’ve treated the Arab world as a big collection of gas stations. Our message to them is keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis, and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence of everything going on out back.”

What the general is saying is these terms where as long as we have access to their oil, and they are nice to Israel, that they can do whatever they want in the region, led to the enviornment where radical islamists could train, strategize, and coordinate 9/11. What’s interesting about that statement itself is it fails to take into account the sanctions against Iraq, which was true cause of 9/11. (Osama Bin Laden Interview 1997 CNN).

Bacevich said “Well, apparently he’s forgotten that commentary because he’s now basically reciting the line, again with regard to Saudi Arabia that this is a strategically important country. What he said in 2008 is clear in the implication, and this is simply factually correct, that the American way of life that we once thought was dependent upon Persian Gulf oil, is not. That we don’t need Persian Gulf oil, and that fact has not sunk in with foreign policy establishment, and provided a basis for a fundamental reevaluation, not only of our relationship with Saudi Arabia, but a reevaluation of the larger assumption, that the Persian Gulf really, really, matters to the well being of the United States. It doesn’t, and were we to accept that fact, then the possibility of rethinking US policy in the region would become evident. Not simply, reevaluating the relationship with Saudi Arabia, but reevaluating the assumption that Iran, is somehow the great enemy, that now threatens stability in the region.”

What did I say his view was “Bacevich position is that energy independence should bring more accountability to Saudi Arabia and lead to reduced tension with Iran.  He reduces the importance of the region to oil, and my comment seeks to broaden the basis for the importance of the region and the preferential treatment given to Saudi Arabia.”

I wrote Bacevich’s position is energy independence should bring more accountability to Saudi Arabia, which is the same as we don’t need Persian Gulf oil… provide(s) a basis (for a) fundemental reevaluation of our relationship with Saudi Arabia”. He said Abizaid’s assessment was “factually correct… in the implications”: do whatever you want in the back if oil’s cheap , “Osama is the distilled essence of what is going on out back”. Reevalutating that relationship seems to be for the purpose of bringing Saudi Arabia to account for the spread of militant Salafi extremism, which is reinforced by another set of statements he made.

Prior to the quote from Amy Goodman, Narmeen Shaikh quotes Bacevich quoting the general in an article he wrote, the essense of which is Trump is appointing one of the few people who had the correct understanding of the region: the partnership with Saudi Arabia allowed Saudi Arabia to finance and spread Salafi jihadism in the region. She asks why he thinks Trump would appoint someone to a job description that boils down to kissing Saudi Arabia’s ass, when he’s been critical of the regime compared to most US officials.

Bacevich responds “Based on general Abizaid’s testimony at his confirmation hearing, he has abandon the analysis he had made in 2003 2004, just the clip you played showed him basically reciting what has been the standard line in US Saudi relationship going back decades, that is to say, this partnership as he called it, is of great strategic importance to the United States. Then he went on to cite in a notably passionless way, the complaints we have about Saudi policy and promising to give them due attention. What is so striking I think, is here we are in 2019. So many years after the debacle that George W Bush launched in 2003, and the conversation, the debate such as it is, still remains superficial, and I think avoids confronting some of the basic contradictions. At the center of the contradiction, is the conviction that somehow or another the United States has a vital interest in maintaining a partnership with Saudi Arabia. Virtually nobody within the foreign policy establishment is willing to examine that notion. And it’s passed time that we did examine it critically. “

Once again he’s saying Abizaid changed course, and implies that he isn’t serious about addressing the complaints. It’s pretty clear though his statements that he thinks the relationship with the Saudia Arabia should change, and that change is intent on increased accountability. He states “at the center of the contradiction, is the conviction that…the United States has a vital interest in maintaining a partnership with Saudi Arabia”. Of course he goes on to identify that contradiction when he responds to Amy Goodman saying “that the American way of life that we once thought was dependent upon Persian Gulf oil, is not.”

The first statement I make about his “views” is completely accurate according to his words, even if accountability doesn’t completely embody everything he meant in an unspecified change in the relationship, it is at least one aspect of it.

From the same premise I stated he said it would lead to reduced tensions with Iran. He stated “Not simply, reevaluating the relationship with Saudi Arabia, but reevaluating the assumption that Iran, is somehow the great enemy, that now threatens stability in the region.” There’s no place I’ve distorted his view.

The second sentence in my summary of his view “He reduces the importance of the region to oil, and my comment seeks to broaden the basis for the importance of the region and the preferential treatment given to Saudi Arabia.”

I don’t mean to be so repetitious, but to reiterate Bacevich said “we don’t need Persian Gulf oil, and that fact has not sunk in with foreign policy establishment, and provided a basis for a fundamental reevaluation, not only of our relationship with Saudi Arabia, but a reevaluation of the larger assumption, that the Persian Gulf really, really, matters to the well being of the United States. It doesn’t, and were we to accept that fact, then the possibility of rethinking US policy in the region would become evident. ” He believes oil is the central governor of policy in the region, claims the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia is not of “vital interest”, and is therefore not very important. If it seems like I am making the statement non-vital interest to mean not important, where it could be argued there is some room for leeway, claiming there is importance in non-vital interests. However, these statements come behind Bacevich stating Amizaid is “reciting the line, again with regard to Saudi Arabia that this is a strategically important country. ” His statements are intent on contradicting this line of “the foreign policy establishment”, which further confirms my summary of his view that he reduces the importance of the region to oil.

I omitted a portion of his quoted material for concision and because it didn’t take anything away from the quote. He said “. At the center of the contradiction, is the conviction that somehow or another the United States has a vital interest in maintaining a partnership with Saudi Arabia.” What is important to this point and the part I omitted is “some how some way”. That is what my comment is, the how and the way Saudi Arabia is important to the United States. He thinks, the foreign policy establishment cannot understand the US is no longer dependent on middle east oil which is why they think the relationship with Saudi Arabia is important.

Either he is right, and the people who decide middle east policy haven’t realized that “we don’t need Persian Gulf oil”, and this is why the partnership with Saudi Arabia still seems important, or “the foreign policy establishment”, recognizes what I’ve posted in my comment, and those are the main reasons why Saudi Arabia is a partnership of strategic importanance. 18% of all US arms exports are purchased by Saudi Arabia making them the single largest importer of arms. They import goods manufactured by American companies, hold a decent amount of US bonds, have investments in American companies, and do not impose influence that undermines US influence in other countries, as well as exercise influence over other countries in the region on behalf of the United States.

What’s bad about this is, people will watch the show, and then recite his reasoning on the middle east and then think they know something. Their position on the middle east and Saudi Arabia is the foreign policy establishment doesn’t understand we don’t need middle east oil.

1/9/2020 Created and sent notification of criticism to William Barber II

Hello, my name is Orion Simerl, I am in the process of publishing a book called “Truth Over Everything and Liberty is True”.  The title expresses in the first statement the intelligent value of the truth.  A major issue with this species is denial, which takes place when a person refuses to expose themselves to or acknowledge information that challenges their beliefs.  The refusal ultimately being a product of the negative feelings associated with discovering something a person believed to be true is false, or something they believed to be good was bad.  People prefer the lies that have formed them, instead of what is true, at a detriment to their liberty, and a detriment to the liberty of the species.  The second statement in the title is stating an obvious but overlooked fact: that all the results on this planet exist through the choices of people on this planet, and the system they choose that mold them.  The second aspect of the statement which serves as the basis for morality, is liberty is true because all people at all times want to do what they want to do.  

In this book there is a section featuring social media comments and exchanges, some of which take place through Youtube and many of which are from Democracy Now.  William Barber II was a guest on Democracy Now and his interview was  the subject of criticism.  I am contacting people I’ve criticized in the book as a notification of the criticism, which I doubt Mr. Barber would be concered with, but it is a part of my process.  

This was the only email I saw to Mr. Barber.  I am also offering a pre-published electronic copy of the book.  The introduction is available at orioncs.net  Below is the comment exchange related to the interview.    

Democracy Now Rev. William Barber: Racist Gerrymandering Created a GOP Stronghold in the South

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5laIv42XFA&feature=emb_logo)

William Barber was being interviewed by Amy Goodman concerning the details of his arrest and court proceedings for protesting against gerrymandering.

1st Comment Orion Simerl: Why is gerrymandering relevant when neither party contributes to the quality of life of black people, poor people, or any other people not represented by an industrial interest? Everywhere you look people’s priority do not reflect a basic understanding of cause and effect. “Many protests since”, that have accomplished what?

2nd Comment phiyaboi3@Orionsimerl: True “Progressives” are completely different from the more centrist corporate “democrats” that have primarily occupied higher positions of the party thus far. Precisely why there is a clear divide in said party since “Bernie spawns” like AOC have come into play.

3rd Comment Orion Simerl@phiyaboi The difference between progressives and establishment democrats is the same as the difference between establishment democrats and republicans, which is rhetorical. Bernie has been in Washington for 30 years and has accomplished what? He has passed three bills. Two were the renaming of post offices, and one was a veteran benefit increase. I suppose some will argue that his votes are relevant, like his vote to for regime change in Iraq in the late 90s, or votes for sanctions against Iran and Libya, or his history of voting for resolutions support Israel and condemning Palestinians? Up until 2006 Bernie voted with democrats more than any other public official voted with democrats. These are career politicians, bags of air, who cannot deliver on anything they promise in the case of Warren and Sanders. AOC has done nothing but make a list of goals and calls it the Green New Deal..

4th Comment: phiyaboi@Orion Simerl I simply made a distinction I’m not about to go through and cite all the progressive value politicians who have passed actual legislation over the decades with the poor and/or disenfranchised in mind…& if you think AOC hasn’t been voting for and against pieces of legislation (in her 6 “whole months”..) you haven’t been paying attention. If your argument is “politics is crooked, everyone doesn’t do what they say” I mean..welcome to Life? But implying there are no real progressives is factual nonsense and you need to pay more attention to history. Fixing the gerrymandering problems allows the people to vote out those who are not actively working in their interests period.

5th Comment: Orion Simerl@phiyaboi I explained the distinction you are talking about is rhetorical. Your response if filled will assertions without a single example, which is about the extent of your understanding. Not only are you not going to cite all the progressive value politicians who have passed legislation, you cannot even name a single progressive piece of legislation passed. Meanwhile I provided each piece of legislation passed by your progressive champion Bernie Sanders, as well as some of his votes while in office for 30YEARS. You brought him up. I didn’t say anything about AOC’s voting, you brought that up and haven’t mentioned a single thing she voted for. I merely brought up the fact that she drafted a resolution which is a list of goals with no substance. Now you bring up that she has voted for or against things but again cannot cite a single example of anything. Go google something and get back to me.

Fixing gerrymandering is irrelevant, because you are voting out one party that doesn’t serve your interest for another party who doesn’t serve your interest. If you’re going to respond, respond with something of substance. Meaning if you say something is factual non-sense provide a supporting piece of evidence for that assertion. The stupidity of the so called progressives is just as responsible for the state of humanity as the stupidity of the conservatives. Give me the last piece of progressive legislation that had an impact on people’s lives? Has MSNBC or DN told you what that is yet or do you need some time?

6th Comment:Tee@OrionSimerl Because Gerrymandering is another important tool used to dis empower people. Politicians choose voters instead of we choosing the politicians. You ask, “why does it matter”. Some slaves probably asked the same question while being abused. God has put within each human being a sense of dignity. When our human rights are violated the essence of God within us feel violated. Some ignore this feeling from God and plunge deeper into the hell of humiliation. Others fight to regain their dignity even at the threat of death and are rewarded with peace even in death.

7th Comment: Orion Simerl@Tee “Neither party contributes to the quality of life of black, poor people, or any other people not represented by an industrial interest and responsible for policy creation.” Again, dodging the point. Gerrymandering is only relevant if it creates an advantage for one party and the other party represents or is able to improve people’s lives. The only thing you have to show is a piece of legislation passed by a progressive candidate in the last 30 years that has meaningfully contributed to the lives of poor people. If the legislation significantly improved the lives of poor people there wouldn’t be so many not just poor, but struggling people. This consists of about the bottom 60% of the wealth distribution being that the bottom 40% has negative wealth and the next 20% has very little, meaning their income is roughly the same as their expenses.

The progressive best case scenario provides people with programs and assistance dealing with the circumstances of being poor, but it does nothing to lift them out of the condition. Republicans redrawing lines to ensure people who vote for them are within the right districts to get them elected is irrelevant, because no matter who is elected the resulting legislation does not help poor or struggling people.

Point of contention: The difference between the democrats and republicans for the poor and struggling which comprises most of the American population is zero to minimal. Meaning no matter which party is elected the lives of most people will not change much in either direction (good or bad). This is why it doesn’t make sense to invest energy in protesting gerrymandering, which by the way is hardly effective anymore as a tool for change, when even if you are successful, a changing in the partisan make up of congress, does not produce significant changes for the people.