HomeActivismgrassroots9/20 Open Thread – The Human Farm
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Ahhhh! I can smell it from here! Thank you, Mr. Sanchez and LD. :O)

Onto my morning pick. Pretty much always like what Peter Van Buren has to say–a plain talking, smart man who was once a part of it all.

It’s Personal: Apologizing to My Daughter for the Last 15 Years of War

… I’m sorry, I want to say to her, that protesters can be confined in something called a “free speech zone” surrounded by those same police. I want to tell my daughter that the Founders would rise up in righteous anger at the idea of the police forcing citizens into such zones outside a political convention — and at the fact that most journalists don’t consider such a development to be a major story of our times.

As I sent her off to college, I wanted to say how sorry I was that we had messed up her world, sorry we not only didn’t defeat the terrorists the way Grandpa did the Nazis but, by our actions, gave their cause new life and endless new recruits. Al-Qaeda set a trap on 9/11 and we leaped into it. The prison American occupiers set up at Camp Bucca in Iraq became a factory for making jihadis, and the torture chambers at Abu Ghraib remain, likeGuantánamo, an infomercial inviting others to pick up a weapon. …


Campaign Was Not Radical, Says Sanders, Just ‘What Most Americans’ Want

Haven’t read it yet, CD covered a piece by The Nation that seems to be behind a pay wall(?).


Thanks, jbob! Maybe my browser.

And , yes, how is Winnie? Cool name.


Thanks for asking about Winnie @grapevines and @polarbear4.
She is still at the vet’s but might have the tube removed from her eyelid today.
As of yesterday the damaged eye looked a lot better and the stain they use showed no bad spots on the cornea. They were waiting to hear back from the Ophthalmologist at Cornell who is consulting. It looks like she might be able to keep the eye without vision. We are hopeful. To answer a question from other day, there is no insurance for this. She has been in the “horse hospital” since Saturday of Labor Day weekend. She received treatments through the tube to her eye every two hours around the clock for the first week. Then slowly tapering down to just 3 times a day as of yesterday. We are hoping they can release her this weekend.
It all gets billed by procedure performed just like people medicine. She is lucky we are “DINKS”. (dual income no kids)


She does sound like a lucky horse to have the love of you two! And yay on keeping the eye. Thanks.


For some reasons the links don’t work for me, nor do I get in through their web site, but I got in through their link on twitter, once at least. Now I cannot recreate that either, must be something to do with cookies?

But I enjoyed the interview – thanks polarbear!

A snippet:

Now, do I have strong differences of opinion with Hillary Clinton? I think the whole world knows that. The goal here is not to say, “Hillary Clinton is the best thing in the history of the world—she’s great, she’s wonderful, she’s terrific.” What we should be saying is that if you look at virtually all of the issues of importance to the people of this country—issues like making public colleges and universities tuition-free—Hillary Clinton is now on record for doing that for people making $125,000 a year or less. You know what? That is pretty revolutionary. That will transform the lives of millions of families in this country. That’s what Clinton stands for.

Clinton is on record supporting a doubling of community health centers in this country, which will mean that tens of millions of people—poor people—will have access to health care that do not have it today. Is that significant? It is very significant. Clinton is on record supporting pay equity for women, so that women do not continue to make 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. I happen to believe that one of the great crises facing the planet is climate change. Donald Trump happens not to think that climate change is real. Clinton takes it seriously.

The point is not to say that we love Hillary Clinton or that we agree with her on all of the issues. The goal is to go above that and ask: Which candidate will do a better job for middle-class and working-class families? I think the answer is obvious.

Bernie goes on to talk about how he plans to hold her feet to the fire, basically (see my bolding). Whether or not she’d listen to him, or to anyone, of course remains to be seen, but he’s certainly giving her the heads up that he’s going to do it.

I’m not going to sit here and say to you that Hillary Clinton is going to be great on all these issues with absolute confidence. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that on many, many issues, her views are progressive. In many areas, they are awesome. Where they’re not progressive, we’ve got to push her, and the day after the election, we will mobilize millions of people to make sure that we make her the most progressive president that she can be.


Another snippet, which HC should be heeding, but I don’t see it happening in the next few weeks:

 The Nation: You were clearly frustrated by the media’s coverage of the campaign.

Sanders: What you realize is that the media focus on the gossip of the campaign, rather than the issues affecting the American people. Their coverage became about Bernie Sanders and his campaign, not about the needs of the American people and what we were proposing to address those needs. That was very distressing.

The way we overcame that, to the degree that we did, was through social media. One of the reasons I think we did so well among younger people is that most younger people now do not watch the evening news; they don’t read The Washington Post. And we did, I think, a very good job in terms of communicating directly with many millions of younger people directly through social media.

And further, to the point:

I think that what we need to do—and you’re already doing it, so I’m not lecturing you—is to integrate our ideas into the political movement so that it’s not just a magazine talking to people, or Bernie Sanders talking to people. Our ideas need to become part of everyday discussion. What we have got to do—especially with younger people, especially with people not heavily involved in the political process—is to make sure that every morning, afternoon, and evening, they are seeing the presentation of issues that are relevant to their lives.

Yesterday, HC said to the select 250 people at Temple University, “I need you to be my partner…etc, and your generation, blah blah”. Zippity do dah about “We”. I didn’t hear “we” last night on Fallon’s show either when HC appeared as a guest.

To those at TOP and DU, this is what I think when you bash us here, c99, and at Jack Pine,

The one thing that keeps me optimistic is that Russ Feingold has a very good chance to reclaim the Senate seat for WI. That would reunite him with Bernie, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, and collaborate with the newbie on the block, Elizabeth Warren. They are poised to hold the platform to Clinton’s head and remind her, “this is what you have been record of saying, so let’s do this for the people”.

Related, I saw that Jill Stein called Bernie a DC insider, I guess to finally separate herself from him.
I still think it is unfair that Stein and Johnson aren’t allowed on the debate stage. But I’m not satisfied with any of the 4 candidates.


As badly as I feel for Bernie having to vouch for “incrementalism,” which we all know it is WAY too late for, hearing Jill Stein call Bernie an insider burns me up. She was all too happy to take the voters that left him after he didn’t win. She should be helping OR or PIP get progressive legislation and candidates from every party, including hers, passed and into office. grrrrrrr.

Never realized just how narrow-minded and “pure” the Greens seem to have become. No wonder they can’t get above the low percentile even when they had a “gift horse.” They chose to look it in the mouth and throw up in it.

She must be at the pipeline protest, right?


Well, he is kind of acting like an insider at this point in time. But I have to believe that he was forced to. I don’t think he can be “bought”, but I think he can be… threatened. Maybe Bill had a talk with Bernie about his grandkids, like he did Loretta.


Or maybe Bernie actually means what he says…the Revolution needs the Dems to win, and could be destroyed by a Trump victory.
Personally I’ve been working hard against the Clintons for over 20 years, ever since Nafta, and this is how I see it.
But I’m going to really enjoy pushing her if she wins. This time we’ll be very well organized, and after Bernie’s campaign we won’t be so easily fooled.


I think you’re right on here, hooper. I’m going to enjoy really pushing her if she wins, too. And if he’s got four more good progressives to work with in the Senate… and the Revolution behind them… we might be able to move in the direction we want. We certainly wouldn’t be able to do that under Trump.


Thanks for the digest. But, sorry, Bernie. I ain’t a-votin’ fer her. And I don’t believe for a New Yawk minute that millions of people – or you – will be able to sway her on anything she wants to do. Only ones she will listen to are her money bags people.


Oh, I hear ya, phatkat. We here are ‘woke’ as they say. I mean today she met with Japan’s nervous prime minister who apparently wanted to discuss TPP. As in ‘discuss’ and influence in support of TPP. Why is she meeting with heads of state? She met with Ukraine’s president today, I believe it was. Pissing me off. Doesn’t feel right somehow. She is vying for their support at least as much as for ours.

Re: Japan, well guess what, most Americans do not want TPP, so what is it, Hillary? Will you side with us? Or will you side with Japan.

Re: Ukraine, do most Americans want more friction with Russia? Can we discuss this as a country instead of you, Hillary, just taking sides on our behalf? So much hubris.


Thanks grapevine!

Clinton is leading big in two polls released today for NY (Siena) and California (Field)

In NY she leads Trump 51-30 and in California she leads 51-33. The California poll is the only poll I have seen in which Stein is ahead of Johnson (6-5).

The possibility still exists that Clinton could win the popular vote based on huge leads in states like California and NY, while Trump could win the electoral college by narrowly winning battleground states such as Oho, Florida, and North Carolina. A nightmare scenario

Clinton’s relative popularity and the Trump disdain in NY, along with Schumer’s blowout of his opponent (69-23), could be good news for down ticket NY Dem candidates, especially Zephyr Teachout.


Zephyr Teachout Leads John Faso by 5 Points It is a poll by the DCCC but good news! Teachout outperforms Clinton and does especially well with independents and voters under 45

Less than two months to go in the general election season, Democrat Zephyr Teachout has a 5-point lead over Republican John Faso (47% to 42%, with just 11% of voters remaining undecided), according to a DCCC tracking survey of likely general election voters in New York’s 19th Congressional District.

Teachout has a commanding 16-point advantage over Faso among registered Independents (51% to 35%). She also has strong support among young voters, leading by 45 points among voters age 18 to 34 (61% to 16%) and by 14 points among voters age 35 to 44 (52% to 38%), and a 10-point lead among women (48% to 38%).

Hillary Clinton holds a 3-point lead over Donald Trump in this district and Democrats tie Republicans on the generic Congressional ballot (44% to 44%). Teachout outperforms the top of the ticket due to her positive profile in the district (+19 net, 39% favorable, 20% unfavorable). Registered Independents (+25 net), voters under age 35 (+32 net), and voters age 35 to 44 (+21 net) all hold strongly positive views of Teachout.


I love the title of this opinion piece, “The Bernie Bump”


This crunchy college town, between the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains, feels like an ideal place for a Woodstock attendee to retire. Amble down Main Street, and you’ll see a yoga studio, a gluten-free bakery and a clothing store called the Groovy Blueberry. “I’m already against the NEXT war,” a passing bumper sticker reads.

Make no mistake: This is Bernie Sanders country.

The Vermont senator got a hero’s welcome here on Friday when he emerged onstage at a park near the State University of New York’s New Paltz campus. He was there to campaign for Zephyr Teachout, a Democrat and Fordham University law professor who is in a tight race to represent New York’s 19th Congressional District, which includes New Paltz.

Now that his presidential ambitions have been dashed, Mr. Sanders seems to understand that his role is to act as a sort of political conduit, transmitting progressive voters’ undying love for him to state and local candidates. And, he hopes, getting Hillary Clinton elected president, too. Few of the young people I talked to at the rally had heard of Ms. Teachout or the congressional race. But Mr. Sanders had brought them there, and they were open to learning more.

“There are 435 members in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Mr. Sanders told the crowd. “You are about to elect the most outstanding member, a leader at a time when we need leaders.”

At one point in his speech on Friday, the crowd broke into a chant: “Bernie! Bernie!” Mr. Sanders responded, “All right, that ‘Bernie!’ has now got to be transferred to ‘Zephyr!’ ”

The piece continues that some of the younger voters are considering Clinton, but just aren’t there yet. However, they don’t like Trump.


I’m really excited about Teachout, and so happy that Bernie is campaigning for her. I really hope she wins!! We need a lot more anti-corruption lawmakers in Congress.


It’s going to be a close race. That district has a large rural population component who lean “R”.
I drove through some of that area a couple of weeks ago and saw a semi-strong showing of FASO lawn signs. Donate here if you can.


Non-enrolled will make the difference in the 19th, and Teachout appears to be doing well with them. Obama also won by 6.2% in the district in 2012. (Of course the Republicans hold the district but the Dem candidates–especially the one in 2014–were not strong.) We have a house in the Catskills in rural Delaware County–part of the 19th. It’s less conservative than it used to be with lots of NYC area expats. I will be one next year.


“Politically, the district offers a slight edge to Republican candidates. There are 144,898 registered Republicans in the 19th compared with 147,253 Democrats. But when you add in 11,625 members of the right-leaning Conservative party to the GOP numbers and 2,557 members of the left-leaning Working Families Party to the Democratic column, Republicans emerge with an enrollment advantage of 6,175. The district also contains 28,942 members of the largely non-ideological Independence Party and 1,980 Green Party members. But it is voters who are not enrolled in any political party that make up the third largest voting bloc in the district at 126,928, who hold the ability to turn the district blue or red.”


I saw the first negative add against her on broadcast television during the local news yesterday. Paid for by RSCC, called her “Professor” at least 20 times in 60 seconds. Accused her of promoting Islamic terrorism. Really scummy!


Pulling for Zephyr, another one like Nina whom has a future, hopefully there’s no Diebold factor to worry about in a tight race.


New York has a paper ballot that is counted by optical scanner. The paper ballots are preserved for recounts.


Thanks for the open thread, @grapevines, and thank you for your uplifting story about the ‘human farm’! I wish the project all the success in the world and hope to hear more going forward.


oh yikes! Didn’t even see that it was @grapevines! Yes, thank you, grapevines!


I’ve been a firm believer of organic gardening for over 25 years. When I see things like Mr. Sanchez is doing and people like this, it gives me hope that people will wake up http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/37564-food-liberation-why-the-food-movement-is-unstoppable


Hillary Clinton’s Open Letter to Wells Fargo Customers

I’ve put forward an agenda to enhance accountability on Wall Street. Executives should be held individually accountable when rampant illegal activity happens on their watch. Their compensation should take a hit if their companies pay major fines. And they must face appropriate legal consequences if they break the law.

Lee Fang called her response to Wells Fargo’s illegal behavior, “incredibly tepid”, what do you think? I wasn’t a fan of the words, “enhance accountability”, too vague and the word “enhance” sounds weak, but I like that part about executives having to face “legal consequences”, hopefully those legal consequences would include jail time. Otherwise it’d be sham because just paying fines, for example, is peanuts for them.


Dollars to doughnuts it’s fines. But would love to be happily surprised.

Remember this is still pre-election.


Talking about immediate action. Hillary’s letter sure impacted big time. Ha!


un fracking believable. honestly. wtf??????


Looks like things are hopping in NYC today, or, actually, maybe stalled in traffic:

Kerry, Lavrov meet to save crumbling Syria truce in last minute effort

The top American and Russian diplomats joined together Tuesday in a last-ditch bid to save Syria’s week-old truce, on a day the pair once envisioned as the start of a new military partnership against the Daesh group and al-Qaida. Instead, they went into their talks unsure what cooperation could be maintained to stop the Arab country’s five-year civil war.

While Arab, European and other officials waited, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in a New York hotel hoping to quickly iron out some of the many differences between Washington and Moscow. They walked up a grand staircase, deep in conversation, on the way to a larger gathering of some 20 nations after a two-day period that included a mistaken U.S.-coalition air raid on Syrian soldiers and a deadly attack on an aid convoy that the U.S. blamed on Russia and Syria.



A bit more information on the convoy attack.


The United Nations rowed back on Tuesday from describing an attack on an aid convoy in Syria as air strikes, saying it did not have conclusive evidence about what had happened.

The incident, in which 18 trucks from a 31-vehicle convoy were destroyed on Monday evening, had looked likely to deal a death blow to a week-old ceasefire. It drew vigorous denunciations from around the world.

The U.N., Red Cross and United States had all described it as an air strike, implicitly pinning the blame on Russian or Syrian aircraft that fly in the area for breaking the ceasefire with a strike on a humanitarian target.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Excellent article on truth tellers. The author worked in the past as WikiLeaks Central contributing writer

Governments use secrecy to protect and gain power.

Assange, Manning and Snowden, Standing with the Conscience of Truthtellers


Elizabeth Warren Hammers Wells Fargo CEO: ‘You Should Be Criminally Investigated’

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren grilled Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on Tuesday for his role in a widespread scheme in which thousands of bankers opened more than 2 million accounts for customers without them knowing over at least five years.

“You should resign. You should give back the money you took while this scam was going on and you should be criminally investigated,” Warren told Stumpf, after he admitted under Warren’s grilling he hadn’t yet been held personally accountable for the actions of his employees.

The Democratic senator also forced Stumpf, who was under questioning from the Senate banking committee over his bank’s handling of the scam, to admit that no senior executives have been held accountable for the actions of the low-level bankers.

And, for what’s it worth:

“The only way Wall Street will change will be if executives face jail time” for criminal behavior, she said.


From Bernie’s appearance with Seth Myers:

“How many people at Wells Fargo are going to jail? Zero. But if you smoke marijuana in this country, you get a criminal record. That’s pretty crazy stuff.”


Awesome rant and questioning! thanks.


It’s so awesome to see Elizabeth Warren is back to doing what she does best!


The only way to hurt the rich is to make them poor and take away their power, I would love to see every asset they own no matter where or what it is liquidated from them for these type of crimes. They will only end up going to a country club jail as a result –maybe. For these crimes maybe some of the more “dangerous” prisions in this country is where they should end up. Yea kind of bitter to see time after time the rich getting away with it


I think then we actually might see some real prison reform and living conditions would be drastically improved for inmates.


Absolutely right!

Don midwest
Don midwest

Article that recounts how far the surveillance state has progressed since 9/11. How we have become a country living in fear and that leads us to continue with repressive or military actions both at home and abroad.

This is published on TomDispatch.com, which publishes 3 articles per week which are mostly on foreign policy. You can subscribe for free and get the articles sent to your email.

The headings of the articles have a commentary, this one from Tom, who is Tom Englehardt. It is followed by Peter Van Buren letter to his daughter.

It’s Personal
Apologizing to My Daughter for the Last 15 Years of War

Here is the link to the whole piece which includes Peter’s article. I found it instructive to follow Peter’s links (open in a new tab using right click and not have to reload the page). There are links in Tom’s introduction, but suggest you skip them for now and proceed to the longer article.

What have we become????

Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Class of 2017 — So Sorry!


Yikes. I just got 4 spam messages to my new email address sent from TPW. someone looking for romance or something. Hit the spam button and deleted, but it looks like someone is using these addresses. Maybe logging out when not using?


Yeah, seems like a spammer. I got some too, but there were notifications, rather than an actual e-mail from the spammer. Dislike it that their webcrawlers picked up this blog.


Email out to LD. Me too, getting emails. Traffic must have triggered attention (bastards!).


The membership has been growing by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately not necessarily all are the right kind. Some weeding out would be a good idea. I wonder if anyone besides LD has the authority to do so?



Wordfence has been updated, more defense to come. Should be ok for now. 😉


I got one too.


I got four spam messages, too, in my box here. Hmmm… my email box is swamped, and I haven’t checked that address in the last couple of days. Maybe I got them sent to my email too….


Hillary canceled an appearance in Chapel Hill and has nothing scheduled till the 1st debate. Makes you wonder if she would be able to even take the 3am phone call from her add in 2008 -we’ll she would if it was a $225,000 doener 🙂

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