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Archive for April, 2016

No one has ever given people anything. They’ve always had to fight…

April 25th, 2016 No comments

Tyranny, Like Hell, is not Easily Conquered

April 23rd, 2016 No comments

figure it out

The American Revolution began with optimism as the British abandoned Boston as patriot militia inflicted heavy damage against the British at the Battle of Bunker Hill and the forced the British to abandon Boston in March of 1776. Early successes contributed to a debate in the Continental Congress over whether the colonies in revolt, not really yet a nation, should build a Continental Army or rely on local militias. More cautious deliberations led the Congress to commission an army with Gen. Washington in command, but the early days of the revolution exhilarated the colonists. How very easy it seemed to defeat the British!

All of that changed in the summer of 1776 when the British Fleet sailed into New York and landed 32000 hardened British troops to face Washington’s inexperienced army of 10000. Washington was forced to withdraw from New York, which fell into the hands of the British, and suffered a string of defeats that ended with the Colonial government abandoning their capitol at Philadelphia and Washington and his army suffering horrendous conditions as they wintered at Valley Forge. There were calls in the Congress to sack Washington, and many were having second thoughts about the wisdom of challenging to world’s great empire. It was probably the bleakest moment in American history, and the fate of the Revolution hung tenuously in the balance.

In the midst of this a disgruntled British ex-Civil Servant named Thomas Paine penned a series of pamphlets titled The American Crisis, the first of which began with the famous words,

These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.[1]

For all that we Americans like to think of ourselves as exceptional, the American experience in revolution was not. Revolutions are hard. Revolutions require dedication, focus, and resilience.

If Washington or the Congress had abandoned the cause after the defeats of 1776 the revolution would have been later, and harder, if it happened at all. But Washington and his army, and all of the colonies, endured eight years of hardship and defeat and finally prevailed. The Americans didn’t win because of superior military strength, they won because their cause was just and they didn’t give up.

So here we are in Bernie’s revolution. We lost New York. The forces arrayed against us are massive. We are behind in the delegate count. Worse, we are beset by the forces of the empire with propaganda that seeks to demoralize. Why not be reasonable? We will never be able to beat the system. Let’s just settle for the lesser of two evils. The same power that controls these voices of doom controls the apparatus of the electoral system. The ruling class are ready and able to maintain the status quo by manipulating the machinery of state using almost limitless funds, dirty tricks, lies, and fear. Just as the British had every advantage in 1776.

After the signing of the Treaty of Paris that confirmed American independence, Washington surrendered his sword to Congress, giving up command of the army and retiring to private life. He remarked that he had been “diffident” to accept his commission at the beginning of the war. He had not been unsure of the cause of liberty, but his ability to carry out such a difficult task. He reflected that it was ultimately the rightness of the cause that led him to complete the task against such difficult odds.[2]

As we embark on another American revolution, a revolution as much for freedom and democracy as the first, we too must expect setbacks. But we must also lean on the rightness of our cause. These are the times that try our souls. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.

 

[1] Thomas Paine, The Crisis (Philadelphia: Publisher Unknown, 1776), accessed April 22, 2016,http://www.ushistory.org/Paine/crisis/singlehtml.htm.

[2] “George Washington Resignation Speech,” Dec. 23, 1783, Maryland State Archives Online, http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/stagser/s1259/131/html/gwresign.html, Accessed April 22, 2016.

Stand Up! Fight Back!

April 15th, 2016 No comments

Bernie Sanders closing statement 4/14/16 #BernieSanders #FeelTheBern #ImWithHimNotHer

The Urgency of a Moral Economy

April 15th, 2016 No comments
Bernie Sanders at The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences 4/15/16

Over a century ago, Pope Leo XIII highlighted economic issues and challenges in Rerum Novarum that continue to haunt us today, such as what he called “the enormous wealth of a few as opposed to the poverty of the many.”

And let us be clear. That situation is worse today. In the year 2016, the top one percent of the people on this planet own more wealth than the bottom 99 percent, while the wealthiest 60 people – 60 people – own more than the bottom half – 3 1/2 billion people. At a time when so few have so much, and so many have so little, we must reject the foundations of this contemporary economy as immoral and unsustainable.

 

 

The Urgency of a Moral Economy: Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of Centesimus Annus – Bernie Sanders

I am honored to be with you today and was pleased to receive your invitation to speak to this conference of The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Today we celebrate the encyclical Centesimus Annus and reflect on its meaning for our world a quarter-century after it was presented by Pope John Paul II.

“I didn’t want to win those states…”

April 10th, 2016 No comments

Kate McKinnon: Hillary on SNL

“What is America to Me?”

April 10th, 2016 No comments

Bernie at the Apollo #FeelTheBern

 

We asked people what song they’d like Bernie Sanders to sing at the Apollo Theater in Harlem – and why

The crowd at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre is not known for going easy on those who dare to tread its boards. On Wednesday’s Amatuer Night, which over the years has propelled the likes of Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and Ella Fitzgerald into the stratosphere, the singers, dancers and comedians are quickly booed if the crowd takes against them or senses they are not up to the job.

Goose bumps…

April 10th, 2016 No comments

New Bernie Ad…

Make History | Bernie SandersWe’ve always been the underdogs, we’ve come a very long way and we have absolutely no intention of letting up. But make no mistake about it: this is YOUR movement. So here is a brand new ad titled “Make History,” featuring footage shot by the people powering this movement: YOU. Check it out. #MakeHistory

Posted by Bernie Sanders on Saturday, April 9, 2016

Wild-eyed Gun-totin Anti-Christ #FeelTheBern

April 8th, 2016 No comments

Or not. Bernie Sanders on MSNBC 4/8/16.

Why doesn’t he just give up?

April 6th, 2016 No comments

Bernie Sanders lands big win in Wisconsin

Bernie Sanders fans can cheer: He secured a big win in Wisconsin, with Fox News and NBC News calling victory for him on Tuesday night. Sanders was favored in the state, and polls had consistently given him a lead of between two to eight points.

You say you want a revolution…

April 5th, 2016 No comments

But if you want money for people with minds that hate, all I can tell you brother you’ll have to wait.

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