Here’s a video of Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors saying, “We are trained Marxists”

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

June 17, 2020

Patrisse Cullors is a founder of Black Lives Matter.

Here’s a screenshot from wikipedia, showing that Cullors is one of the founders of Black Lives Matter:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Lives_Matter

Here’s a YouTube video of Cullors saying:

“We are trained Marxists”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EvOyW5vIdg

And in case Youtube censors it, here’s the same video from Twitter:

https://twitter.com/BubetteS/status/1273628656447811584

 

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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Note from Daniel Alman: I’d like to recommend that you visit Whatfinger News. It’s a really awesome website.

June 18, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Black lives matter, Communism. 1 comment.

In 1995, when Barack Obama was running for state senator in Illinois, he held one of his political fundraisers in the living room of communist terrorist bomber Bill Ayers

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

June 17, 2020

In 1969, a guy named Bill Ayers co-founded a terrorist organization called Weather Underground, whose founding document called for “world communism.”

In 1969, Ayers set off a bomb in Chicago at a statue that was dedicated to the city’s police. At the time of the explosion, no one was close enough to the statue to be killed. However, the explosion was so powerful that it broke almost 100 windows.

On March 6, 1970, three members of Weather Underground, including Diana Oughton (Ayers’s girlfriend) and Terry Robbins (Ayers’s close friend), were killed when they accidentally, prematurely set off a bomb which they were in the process of building, in their townhouse in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. The explosion was so powerful that it destroyed the entire four-story townhouse.

In 1970, Ayers bombed the headquarters of the New York City Police Department.

In 1971, Ayers bombed the United States Capitol building.

In 1972, Ayers bombed the Pentagon.

Although charges were filed against Ayers for these bombings, the charges were later dropped because law enforcement agents had conducted wiretaps and property searches without warrants.

In 1995, when Obama was running for state senator in Illinois, Obama held a fundraiser in the living room of Bill Ayers’s home.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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Note from Daniel Alman: I’d like to recommend that you visit Whatfinger News. It’s a really awesome website.

June 17, 2020. Tags: , , , , , . Barack Obama, Communism. 2 comments.

Black Lives Matter founder an open supporter of socialist Venezuelan dictator Maduro

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/06/13/black-lives-matter-founder-an-open-supporter-of-socialist-venezuelan-dictator-maduro/

Black Lives Matter Founder an Open Supporter of Socialist Venezuelan Dictator Maduro

By Rafael Valera

June 13, 2020

One of the most high-profile founders of the Black Lives Matter organization – now one of the most influential and powerful political movements on the planet – has a long history of supporting Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro.

Maduro has presided over one of the world’s most repressive regimes since 2013 when his predecessor Hugo Chávez died. Under Maduro, Venezuelan police forces have committed a long list of human rights atrocities including the torture, kidnapping, rape, and killing of unarmed protesters. Under Maduro, Venezuela has become an especially dangerous place for minors.

In light of the prominence of Black Lives Matter – a global non-profit currently receiving millions in donations – photos have begun to circulate of Opal Tometi, a founder of the organization, hugging Maduro at the 2015 People of African Descent Leadership Summit in Harlem, New York, where several high-rank officials of the Venezuelan regime also participated. Maduro, currently banned from the United States, was in town for the annual United Nations General Assembly.

Tometi appears alongside Maduro on a Venezuelan government propaganda site’s news report from the event, raising a fist and embracing him. The photo appears to be taken in front of a giant photo of Maduro’s face.

Tometi spoke at the summit, standing in front of a Venezuelan flag for the speech and thanking Maduro’s government for the opportunity. Among her targets during the speech were the government of the Dominican Republic for deporting Haitians and “Western economic policies, land grabs, and neocolonial financial instruments like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund” for, she argued, creating the Mediterranean migrant crisis.

“I am aware that justice also has to do with racial aspects,” assured Tometi, according to Venezuelan state media. “What we are experiencing is the manifestation of anti-black racism and this is state violence. It must be called by its name. Police brutality, the murders of blacks, violence against the Afro-descendant community, all is proof of the violence of the State,” said the Black Lives Matter founder.

Tometi also quoted Joanne Chesimard, a radical Marxist convicted of murdering a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 who has lived for decades as a fugitive in Cuba, as urging, “you must fight until all black lives matter.” Tometi referred to Chesimard, who renamed herself “Assata Shakur,” as the summit’s “dear exiled sister.”

The Black Lives Matter non-profit identifies Tometi, no stranger to red carpets as a result of her activism, as one of its founders, a “student of liberation theology and her practice is in the tradition of Ella Baker, informed by Stuart Hall, bell hooks and Black Feminist thinkers.” On her own website, Tometi claims to be a “human rights advocate” and pro-immigrant activist.

In addition to meeting with and applauding Maduro at the New York summit, Tometi also served as an election observer in socialist Venezuela during the 2015 legislative elections. She praised the socialist dictatorship as “a place where there is intelligent political discourse” on Twitter during one of the bloodiest years of police brutality in the country.

https://twitter.com/opalayo/status/672537450066128899

Her praise remains online at press time. Since the election, widespread evidence of fraud on the part of Maduro’s regime during that election has surfaced.

Tometi also applauded Venezuela in an article that year stating, “in these last 17 years, we have witnessed the Bolivarian Revolution champion participatory democracy and construct a fair, transparent election system recognized as among the best in the world.”

Tometi’s ideology does not appear to be an outlier within the Black Lives Matter movement. In a eulogy, the organization mourned the passing of brutal Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in 2016.

“There is an overwhelming sense of loss, complicated by fear and anxiety. Although no leader is without their flaws, we must push back against the rhetoric of the right and come to the defense of El Comandante,” a eulogy by the official “Black Lives Matter” organization read.

After some thoughts on revolution, the piece ends: “As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!”

Cuba is socialist Venezuela’s closest ally.

Few governments in the Western Hemisphere have engaged in police brutality to the extent that Maduro’s regime has, especially against underprivileged Venezuelans of indigenous and African descent. One year prior to Tometi’s celebratory tweet, Maduro’s regime corps killed 43 protestors and incarcerated over 3,400 during the wave of protests that took over the country demanding Maduro’s ousting.

That same year, the Venezuelan Penal Forum, an NGO, documented 138 cases of torture. One of the most shocking cases was Juan Manuel Carrasco’s, who was raped with a rifle by several Bolivarian National Guard officers. Between Maduro’s rise to power and 2019, he has detained at least 388 political prisoners, including Americans since freed through pressure by President Donald Trump. For comparison, Chávez, who founded the deadly regime, reportedly only held 161 known political prisoners.

Maduro’s totalitarian state particularly harms underaged Venezuelans. Nearly 1,500 minors died in violent circumstances in 2018, most of them at the hands of police or collectives, Maduro’s paramilitaty gangs. Nearly 10,000 died two years prior; in 1997, that number was 440.

Tometi has largely kept silent on Maduro’s police brutality. She did not speak out when Maduro’s colectivos shot 17-year-old Carlos Moreno in the head, or when police shot 14-year-old Kluiverth Roa dead for being near the vicinity of a protest while walking home from school.

The links between Black Lives Matter, the organization, and the Maduro regime are particularly concerning given that White House said last Friday it has information that individuals linked to Maduro have incited violence at protests in the United States spurred by George Floyd’s death, according to an article in the Miami Herald.

June 13, 2020. Tags: , , , . Black lives matter, Communism, Venezuela. Leave a comment.

BLM eulogized Fidel Castro and feels ‘indebted to him’ for ‘his guidance’ and ‘integrity’

https://townhall.com/columnists/humbertofontova/2020/06/13/blm-eulogized-fidel-castro-and-feels-indebted-to-him-for-his-guidance-and-integrity-n2570559

BLM Eulogized Fidel Castro and Feels ‘Indebted to Him’ for ‘His Guidance’ and ‘Integrity’

By Humberto Fontova

June 13, 2020

“We are feeling many things as we awaken to a world without Fidel Castro,” reads an official Black Lives Matter eulogy for Fidel Castro upon his death. “There is an overwhelming sense of loss…we are particularly grateful to Fidel for holding Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us…As Fidel ascends to the realm of the ancestors, we summon his guidance, strength, and power as we recommit ourselves to the struggle for universal freedom. Fidel Vive!”

“War with the U.S. is my true destiny!” Fidel Castro wrote to a fellow KGB-handled Cuban comrade in April 1958. This was at a time when our crackerjack CIA and State Department were head over heels in love with Castro and his Soviet-backed July 26 Movement, and were helping him both materially and morally.

“You Americans just don’t understand it. The depths of my brother Fidel’s hatred for your country cannot be imagined by you Americans.  His intention—his OBSESSION!—is to destroy the U.S.!” (Juanita Castro testifying before the House Committee on Un-American activities on June 1965, shortly after defecting from Cuba.)

What?!” Khrushchev gasped on Oct. 28th 1962, as recalled by his son Sergei. “Is he (Fidel Castro) proposing that we start a nuclear war?! That we launch missiles from Cuba?!”

“Apparently.”

“Yesterday the Cubans shot down a plane (U-2 with) without (Soviet) permission. Today they’re preparing a nuclear attack!….But that is INSANE!..Remove them (our missiles) as soon as possible! Before it’s too late. Before something terrible happens!” commanded the Soviet premier.  (So much for the Fake News Media/Democrat/History Channel fable of how JFK “stood up to the Russians!” during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In fact, as documented by Khrushchev’s own son, what got the missiles out of Cuba was the Butcher of Budapest’s alarm that Fidel or Che might get their fingers too close to the buttons.)

“Of course I knew the missiles were nuclear-armed,” responded Fidel Castro to Robert McNamara during a meeting in 1992. “That’s precisely why I urged Khrushchev to launch them. And of course Cuba would have been utterly destroyed in the exchange.”

And speaking of “taking a knee,” Fidel Castro was forcing white Americans to take a knee for him well before the Johny-come-lately BLM found it “cool.” In fact it seemed a historic fetish of his. It wasn’t often that BLM’s murderous idol managed to get his hands on an American. But when he did, he really indulged this fetish:

“Kneel and beg for your life!” Castro’s executioners taunted the bound and helpless William Morgan, as he glowered at Castro’s firing squad in April 1961. Morgan was an AWOL GI with creditors and ex-wives on his tail in the U.S., who fled to Cuba and wound up a comandante in Castro’s Rebel army in 1959. He soured on the revolution when the unmistakably Soviet pattern (actually there from the beginning) became unmistakable even to morons. Castro heard about Morgan’s change of heart through his ever-efficient and ever-present spies/snitches and promptly arrested him. Within weeks, Morgan was in front of a firing squad.

“I kneel for no man!” Morgan snarled back.

“Very well, Meester Weel-yam Morgan,” replied his executioner, while the firing squad aimed low, on purpose – “FUEGO!”

The first volley shattered Morgan’s knees. He collapsed snarling and writhing. “See, Meester Morgan?” giggled a voice from above. “We made you kneel, didn’t we?” Over the next few minutes, as he lie writhing, four more bullets slammed into Morgan, all very carefully aimed to miss vitals. Finally, an executioner walked up and blasted Morgan’s skull to pieces with a .45.

“Death to the American!” screamed a Castroite “prosecutor” at U.S. citizen Howard Anderson’s s farce of a trial on April 17, 1961. “The prosecutor was a madman!” says a Swiss diplomat who witnessed the trial, “leaping on tables, shrieking, pointing, and Mr Anderson simply glared back.”

You’d never guess this from the Cuba “reporting” by the Fake News Media/Democrat complex but the reason for the Cuba “embargo” in the first place was Castro’s mass theft, at Soviet gunpoint, of almost 6,000 businesses in Cuba worth $9 billion (in current dollars) from U.S. citizens. A few American business owners who resisted were tortured and murdered.

One of these American burglary victims was Howard Anderson, a successful businessman who owned a chain of service stations and a Jeep dealership (not a casino or brothel, which were relatively rare in pre-Castro Cuba, by the way.) Mr. Anderson was a happy family man with four children and president of the American Legion’s Havana Chapter. I’ll quote from Anderson v. Republic of Cuba, No. 01-28628 (Miami-Dade Circuit Court, April 13, 2003).

“In one final session of torture, Castro’s agents drained Howard Anderson’s body of blood before sending him to his death at the firing squad.”

Two days after his “trial,” Howard Anderson refused a blindfold, to glare at his executioners. Medically he was probably in shock at the time from the blood-draining. “Fuego!”  The bullets shattered Howard Anderson’s body at dawn on April 19, 1961.

“Kneel!–KNEEL DOWN!” the Cuban torturer screamed at the bound and bloodied but unbowed U.S. POW in front of him, Lieutenant Colonel Earl Cobeil, an Air Force F-105 pilot shot down over North Vietnam. “You son of a beech! I will show you!” continued screeching the Castroite torturer.

You see, amigos: In 1967 BLM’s idol–unable to get his hands on any defenseless Americans to torture and murder at home– sent several of his top torturers to North Vietnam, where defenseless Americans were abundantly available. Testimony during Congressional hearings titled, “The Cuban Torture Program; Torture of American Prisoners by Cuban Agents” held on November 1999 provide some of the harrowing details.

“Earl Cobeil was a complete physical disaster when we saw him,” testified another fellow POW, Col. Jack Bomar. “He had been tortured for days and days and days. His hands were almost severed from the manacles. He had bamboo in his shins. All kinds of welts up and down all over; his face was bloody. Then the Cuban torturer again began to beat him with a fan belt. The Cubans unmercifully beat a mentally defenseless, sick American naval pilot to death.”

According to the book Honor Bound: “the tortures of U.S. POWs by Castro’s agents were the worst sieges of torture any American withstood in Hanoi.

And I repeat: Black Lives Matter “summons Fidel Castro’s integrity and guidance.”

June 13, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Black lives matter, Communism, Racism. Leave a comment.

Styxhexenhammer666: The Sad Antifa Garden of Seattle, Analyzed (“This is an example of why communists often starve, because apparently none of them know how to grow food”)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Y__lVMEMk

June 12, 2020. Tags: , , , . Antifa, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, Communism, Food. Leave a comment.

A Close Look At President Trump’s Assertion Of ‘Absolute’ Authority Over States

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/14/834460063/a-close-look-at-president-trumps-assertion-of-absolute-authority-over-states

A Close Look At President Trump’s Assertion Of ‘Absolute’ Authority Over States

April 14, 2020

NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with Elizabeth Goitein of the Brennan Center for Justice about presidential emergency powers, and President Trump’s assertions of authority amid the coronavirus crisis.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The president has certain powers in a national emergency like this pandemic. Yesterday, President Trump falsely said that his power is total.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The federal government has absolute power. It has the power. As to whether or not I’ll use that power, we’ll see.

SHAPIRO: Today, he moderated his message saying he’ll work with governors to determine when the country should reopen. Elizabeth Goitein studies presidential power at the Brennan Center. And she’s here to explain where the line is between state and federal authority in moments like this. Good to have you back on the program.

ELIZABETH GOITEIN: Thanks very much for having me.

SHAPIRO: There is always this kind of push-pull between the federal government and the states. In a national emergency like this, does the president have certain powers that he doesn’t ordinarily have?

GOITEIN: He does. When the president declares a national emergency, it gives him access to more than 100 different statutory powers that Congress has granted over the decades. And those powers allow him to do some pretty remarkable things, some rather scary things I would argue. But none of them provides the authority to do what the president was threatening to do here. And that is to require the states to reopen businesses and to lift their stay-at-home orders. So the simple answer to that question is, no, a national emergency does not give him that authority.

SHAPIRO: But you’ve also written about secret emergency powers that the president has had for decades that we don’t actually know what’s in them. Can you explain what those are?

GOITEIN: Yeah. There’s something called a presidential emergency action document. And what that is is a draft order or executive proclamation that is prepared in advance in order to anticipate a wide variety of worst-case scenarios. And so these documents essentially take on hypothetical situations, very bad situations like, for example, the aftermath of a nuclear attack. And they try to anticipate what orders the president might need to order at that time. And those are kind of on standby. I mean, they are there in case the president feels that he needs them. And what’s extraordinary about these documents is their secrecy, their total secrecy. So even the most sensitive military operations or intelligence operations have to be reported to at least some members of Congress. But these documents apparently even Congress has never seen them. So you have to kind of wonder what’s in them.

SHAPIRO: That raises a whole bucket of questions. But I wonder just generally, you know, many people have compared the fight against this pandemic to a war. And legally, a president does get certain extraordinary powers in times of war. Does the analogy translate here? I mean, does he have those war powers in the fight against this disease?

GOITEIN: It’s a really interesting question. I mean, we have heard a lot of comparisons coming from the White House between the fight against COVID-19 and war. The president has said that he’s now a wartime president. But public health crises and war are not the same thing. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war and the president, as commander in chief, has the power to conduct military operations and to defend against attack. The Constitution doesn’t give either the president or Congress authority over public health. That is one of the powers that’s reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment. Now, Congress does have some ability to legislate on public health as a result of its – of other powers it has over taxing and spending and interstate commerce. So it does share some of these powers with the states, but that’s Congress. The president has no authority over public health beyond what Congress delegates to him. He is not commander in chief of the fight against COVID-19.

SHAPIRO: That’s really interesting. Just in our last minute, I wonder whether you find it odd to see, for the most part, liberals making a states’ rights argument here, which has traditionally been the more conservative position.

GOITEIN: It is really interesting. And I should mention that even though the states are doing the responsible thing here in a situation where the president is not, and so that’s something to be grateful for, there are some advantages to a coordinated response to a pandemic like this one. And ideally, the federal government, not just the CDC and the secretary of Health and Human Services, but the president would be providing the necessary leadership and could assist with interstate coordination. But what we’ve seen is that in the absence of this leadership, the states are doing this on their own. They’re entering into these agreements with one another, and that’s the next best thing.

SHAPIRO: Elizabeth Goitein is co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty & National Security Program.

Thank you for talking with us.

GOITEIN: My pleasure.

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. Leave a comment.

Trump says his ‘authority is total.’ Constitutional experts have ‘no idea’ where he got that.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/14/trump-power-constitution-coronavirus/

Trump says his ‘authority is total.’ Constitutional experts have ‘no idea’ where he got that.

April 14, 2020

When President Trump was asked during Monday’s news briefing what authority he has to reopen the country, he didn’t hesitate to answer. “I have the ultimate authority,” the president responded, cutting off the reporter who was speaking.

Trump later clarified his position further, telling reporters, “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be. … It’s total. The governors know that.”

The local leaders, Trump said, “can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”

Trump’s eyebrow-raising assertions about the reach of his office during national emergencies, which were also echoed by Vice President Pence at the briefing, came on the same day governors on both coasts announced their own plans to begin working toward reopening their states amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

While the president appears convinced he is the only one empowered to make the critical determination, his extraordinary assertions of authority over the states astounded legal scholars, leaving them wondering, as they have before about Trump’s broad claims, where on earth he got them.
“You won’t find that written in the Federalist Papers anywhere,” Robert Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Washington Post.

Not only does the power Trump asserted have no basis in reality, experts said, but it’s also completely antithetical to the Constitution, the concept of federalism and separation of powers — whether during a time of emergency or not.

“This isn’t ancient Rome where there’s a special law that says in the event of an emergency all the regular rules are thrown out the window and one person, whom they called the dictator, gets to make the rules for the duration of the emergency or for a period of time,” Chesney said. “We don’t have a system like that.”

On Twitter, Steve Vladeck, another professor at the University of Texas School of Law, rebutted Trump’s “authority is total” remark.
“Nope,” Vladeck wrote. “That would be the literal definition of a *totalitarian* government.”
Trump: “When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total.”

Nope.

https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1249835579153485825

Various Democrats and Republicans appeared to be in agreement on this basic democratic principle. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) tweeted the full text of the 10th Amendment, which says any powers not specifically delegated to the federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the states. The federal government, she said, “does not have absolute authority.”

Appearing on CNN, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) scoffed at that idea as well, telling host Erin Burnett, “You don’t become king because there’s a federal emergency.”

https://twitter.com/Liz_Cheney/status/1249845408127488000

Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law Houston, told The Post that if Trump were to call up Cuomo tomorrow and order him to send everyone back to work, Cuomo could easily tell Trump to “get lost, and that would be his prerogative.”

It’s the most basic tenet of federalism, he said: “The federal government can’t give orders to governors. That’s a very simple fact of life.”
At least one former governor took Trump’s side: Vice President Pence, who offered a forthcoming legal brief on the subject at the news conference Monday.

“Make no mistake about it, in the long history of this country, the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary,” Pence said.

https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1249874928159121409

Blackman said he had “no idea” what law or legal precedent Trump believed granted him such sweeping authority, because none do. He said there is a long history of presidents using “creative arguments” to assert executive authority during wartime or emergencies — but contrary to Pence’s assertion, there is not a long history of presidents getting away with nearly unfettered authority. There is no “emergency clause” in the Constitution for presidential power, he said.

Case in point: During the Korean War, President Harry Truman declared a national emergency and seized private steel mills to preempt a steelworkers’ strike, arguing that the mills were essential to the national defense. The Supreme Court, in a case called Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer that continues to guide the courts today, stopped Truman in his tracks.

That was before the National Emergencies Act of 1976, which did give presidents authority to declare a national emergency without the prior approval of Congress. Still, Vladeck stressed in an email to The Post that while presidents “do and should have broad powers to respond to crises, broad is not the same as ‘total.’ ”

In this case, he said, it’s critical to remember that Trump never issued any kind of national lockdown order like other countries did. Trump thus cannot reopen something he never shut down. Vladeck said he does not believe that Trump would have had the authority to do that anyway. At most, he said, Trump might have been able to ban interstate travel under the Public Health Service Act.

“But for better or worse, the president has left most of the big decisions to local and state authorities. That makes it only that much harder for him to try to override them,” Vladeck said.

Blackman and Chesney said the president is free to issue “guidelines” urging states to go back to work, but the states are also free to ignore them.
Trump, if he were to act on his impulses, would probably discover that states and local governments “don’t work for him,” Chesney said, but he stressed that Trump’s sweeping assertions need to be kept in check before he gets to that point.

The federal system created by the framers of the Constitution divided power between the national and state governments. While the Constitution’s supremacy clause means acts of Congress can override the laws of states, the same does not apply to the president acting unilaterally.

As a result, various police powers, as well as authority over functions such as zoning and regulation of business, belong to the states because the Constitution does not grant them to the federal government. The states, in turn, are constrained by the constitutional grant of the power to regulate interstate commerce, for example, and the Bill of Rights.

The federal government has exerted its greatest power over the states by withholding or threatening to withhold money from recalcitrant states, though even that authority has been limited by the Supreme Court.

Trump has made many extreme claims of power, previously declaring that Article II of the Constitution, which vests executive power in the president, gives him “the right to do whatever I want.”

“On the one hand, we shouldn’t freak out over every blustering claim of power he asserts, but on the other hand, there’s something very harmful in failing to rebut those claims every time they happen,” Chesney said Monday. “There are plenty of people who will credit what he says, and if he repeatedly asserts he has such powers perhaps, that will help him get away with asserting powers he should not have.”
Ultimately, Vladeck said, the real problem only begins if Trump’s claims to nearly boundless power are left unchallenged through the system of checks and balances by the courts or Congress.

“It’s not a crisis when a president claims powers unfettered by those constraints, and unconfined by written law and settled precedent,” he said. “It’s a crisis when those other institutions don’t push back.”

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. Leave a comment.

Here’s what the Constitution’s 10th Amendment says about Trump’s claim to have total authority over states

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/04/14/trump-claim-total-authority-claim-10th-amendment/2988013001/

Here’s what the Constitution’s 10th Amendment says about Trump’s claim to have total authority over states

April 14, 2020

While discussing whether he or the nation’s governors have the power to lift restrictions states put in place to fight the spread of the coronavirus, President Donald Trump declared at a news briefing Monday, “When somebody’s president of the United States, the authority is total.”

The president’s unprecedented claim of total power met with immediate pushback from Democrats and Republicans, many of them arguing the U.S. Constitution explicitly refutes his claim to absolute authority.

“The federal government does not have absolute power,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who went on to quote the text of the 10th Amendment in a tweet that went viral.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said changes to the social-distancing orders should be made by the governors. Federal guidelines “will be very influential. But the Constitution & common sense dictates these decisions be made at the state level,” he tweeted.

Jonathan Turley – a law professor at George Washington University who argued against Trump’s impeachment before the House Judiciary Committee and a USA TODAY contributor – said the framers wrote the Constitution precisely to bar presidents from claiming the type of authority asserted by Trump.

“Our constitutional system was forged during a period of grave unease over executive authority. After all, the nation had just broken away from the control of a tyrant,” Turley said. And if there is “one overriding principle” in the Constitution, it is to avoid the concentration of power, and it does so “in myriad ways,” he said.

The 10th Amendment was one instrument written to help ensure that the federal government would not be able to impose the kind of absolute authority the framers feared.

https://twitter.com/JonathanTurley/status/1249837933038837760

What the 10th Amendment says

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

What it means

Turley said federalism, in which states are granted a large degree of autonomy, was one of the ways the framers sought to avoid authoritarianism. The other was to limit the possibility of “constitutional drift” – in which individual officials or branches of the federal government slowly expand their authority – by creating “clear structural limitations” on the powers of the federal government.

He described the 10th Amendment as an “insurance policy” against such constitutional “mission creep.”

“It basically mandates that the default position” in conflicts between the states and the federal government “rests with the states,” he said, “So, when federal push comes to states’ shove, the states are supposed to prevail.”

“There is nothing particularly ambiguous about that.”

Kathleen Bergin, a law professor at Cornell University, agreed.

“It’s so plain and obvious it’s not even debatable,” Begin said. “Trump has no authority to ease social distancing, or to open schools or private businesses. These are matters for states to decide under their power to promote public health and welfare, a power guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.”

How it applies to the coronavirus outbreak

“Federalism was not designed to combat a contagion, it was designed to combat tyranny,” Turley said. But according to the principles of federalism, it is the “primary responsibility of the states to prepare for and to deal with pandemics” such as this, he added.

Previously, Trump denied it was his responsibility to supply the states with the medicine and equipment needed to contain and treat the virus when asked about governors’ complaints that the federal government was not doing enough to help them. And when pressured to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order, Trump said he preferred to leave it up to each governor to impose such restrictions.

“What the president said directly contradicts his position of the last three weeks,” said Turley, who has written columns supporting Trump’s previous approach.

“One of his most unnerving statements was that governors imposed these orders simply because he let them do it and that he could have declared a national quarantine earlier,” Turley said. “That’s a direct contradiction of what he has previously stated, but, more importantly, what the Constitution states.”

Bergin said Trump was not “powerless,” however.

“He could lift international travel restrictions and issue directives to the military or federal agencies,” she said. “But he doesn’t get constitutional authority simply by claiming it. What he tries to do and what he’s authorized by the Constitution to do are two different things.”

No statutory power when it comes to social distancing
Charles Fried, who has taught at Harvard Law School since 1961, strongly disputed the idea that the 10th Amendment was relevant to Trump’s claim of total authority and said the real issue was that Congress had not passed any law granting Trump authority to order a national quarantine or stay-at-home directive.

Fried said the 10th Amendment was a “bogus concern” in this instance and anyone making that argument is “barking up the wrong tree” or is a “10th Amendment nut.”

“People like Cheney just want to bring federalism into everything, but it’s not a federalism problem,” Fried told USA TODAY.

Fried said the problem was really in the fact that Congress hadn’t given Trump the power that he claimed. But he said it theoretically could under its authority to regulate business as outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

“And that’s why I don’t like referring to the 10th Amendment. It’s not really a 10th Amendment issue. It’s a rule of law issue,” Fried said. “The president can’t just say, ‘I am the boss.'”

Fried pointed to the 1952 Supreme Court case of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer in which the court ruled President Harry Truman did not have the power to take control of the nation’s steel mills despite a labor strike that threatened production during the Korean War.

“The President’s power, if any, to issue the order must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself,” wrote Justice Hugo Black.

How would Trump enforce it?

David Cole, the national legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, told USA TODAY that even if Congress passed a law granting the president the authority to implement a national curfew, quarantine or stay-at-home order, and it survived constitutional challenges, Trump would not be able to compel the states to enforce it.

Under what is known at the “anti-commandeering principle” the courts have ruled that states don’t have to use their resources or law enforcement officials to enact federal programs.

For example, in the 1997 case Printz v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled a provision of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which required background checks for handgun sales, was unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment because it required local law enforcement officers to carry out the background checks.

“He could not direct the mayor of New York, or the governor of New York to carry out that program,” Cole said. Trump could ask the National Guard to carry it out, or the FBI, but not state or local officials, Cole said.

So, despite the president’s claims, his authority is far from total, Cole and other legal experts agreed.

“He can only execute laws that Congress has passed, and Congress can only pass laws that are authorized by the Constitution,” Cole said.

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. Leave a comment.

Fact check: Trump falsely claims the president has ‘total’ authority over coronavirus restrictions

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/14/politics/fact-check-trump-president-total-authority-coronavirus-states/index.html

Fact check: Trump falsely claims the president has ‘total’ authority over coronavirus restrictions

April 14, 2020

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump falsely claimed on Monday that, as President, he has “total” authority to decide to lift restrictions governors have imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“When somebody’s the President of the United States, the authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be,” Trump said at a bitter White House coronavirus briefing.

Trump then said: “The authority of the President of the United States having to do with the subject we’re talking about is total.” And after speaking about local governments, he said, “They can’t do anything without the approval of the President of the United States.”
It wasn’t clear if he was referring to state or local officials with that assertion. But he was wrong regardless.

Facts First: The President does not have “total” authority over coronavirus restrictions. Without seeking or requiring Trump’s permission, governors, mayors and school district officials imposed the restrictions that have kept citizens at home and shut down schools and businesses, and it’s those same officials who have the power to decide when to lift those restrictions. There is no legislation that explicitly gives the President the power to override states’ public health measures. In addition, Trump said last week that he prefers, because of the Constitution, to let governors make their own decisions on coronavirus restrictions.

We can’t say for sure that the courts would not side with Trump if he attempted to challenge state restrictions on some constitutional grounds he has not yet identified. However, many legal scholars believe Trump would lose.
James Hodge, a professor and director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, said Trump is “wrong” to claim he has the power to lift the states’ coronavirus restrictions.

“He can strongly encourage, advise, or even litigate whether states’ authorities to restrict public movements re: shelter in place or stay home orders are warranted, but cannot tell sovereign governors to lift these orders all at once just because the federal government determines it is high time to do so,” Hodge said in an email.

Trump’s Monday evening comments at the briefing echoed tweets from earlier in the day in which he asserted that “it is the decision of the President,” not governors, on when to “open up the states.”

“This tweet is just false. The President has no formal legal authority to categorically override local or state shelter-in-place orders or to reopen schools and small businesses. No statute delegates to him such power; no constitutional provision invests him with such authority,” Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor and CNN legal analyst, said on Twitter on Monday.

Trump did not personally shut down the economy. Rather, he issued non-binding guidelines on how people should keep their distance from each other. The guidelines begin as follows: “Listen to and follow the directions of your STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES.”

No legislation says the President has the power to overturn the public health decisions of these authorities, Vladeck and other legal scholars say.
Trump did not explain why he believes he has this power. When CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked him who told him he has “total” authority, he did not answer directly, instead saying, “We’re going to write up papers on this.”

When another reporter explained that the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution grants to states the powers not delegated to the federal government, Trump did not contest this interpretation — and instead sidestepped the question, saying he did not believe a state official who refused to reopen the economy could win reelection.

Trump-friendly website Breitbart broached the possibility that Trump could try to use the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, to try to lift commercial restrictions.

Robert Barnes, a lawyer who supports Trump, argued to CNN on Monday that, “in the emergency context,” the President possesses these commerce powers the Constitution assigns to Congress.

Vladeck said Barnes’ claim is unfounded. While Vladeck said Congress might be able to pass a law authorizing the President to override some state and local restrictions — he emphasized the “might” — he said Trump does not have the power to override the restrictions on his own.

“Congress has delegated the President a bunch of powers for emergencies, but this isn’t among them,” Vladeck told CNN.

Hodge said states have a long-established authority to restrict some commerce for the protection of public health. And it is widely understood that state governments have the power to address public health emergencies within their states.

In a 2014 report, the Congressional Research Service, which provides nonpartisan research and analysis to Congress, looked at federal and state powers over quarantine and isolation. The report did not specifically address the question of a president wanting to override state public health measures, but it noted: “In general, courts appear to have declined to interfere with a state’s exercise of police powers with regard to public health matters ‘except where the regulations adopted for the protection of the public health are arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable.'”

While both the Congressional Research Service report and the National Conference of State Legislatures say that the federal government can “take over” the management of a public health incident within a state “if the federal government determines local efforts are inadequate,” they do not specifically address a situation in which the federal government wants to take over because it believes the state is being too strict in trying to address the emergency.

Trump has some power

Trump himself has spoken as recently as last week about states’ constitutional powers during the pandemic, though he has asserted that he too has powers.

After he was asked on April 10 about the possibility of Florida’s governor opening up schools in May, the President said: “I like to allow governors to make decisions without overruling them, because from a constitutional standpoint, that’s the way it should be done. If I disagreed, I would overrule a governor, and I have that right to do it. But I’d rather have them — you can call it ‘federalist,’ you can call it ‘the Constitution,’ but I call it ‘the Constitution.’ I would rather have them make their decisions.”

Trump does have some clear, though limited, direct power. For example, he can order federal employees to return to their offices and reopen national parks and other federal property.

And he can, obviously, use his influence to try to persuade governors — and citizens — to do as he wishes.

It is also possible that Trump could try to leverage the “major disaster declaration” he has issued for each state — for example, attempting to require governors to take certain steps in exchange for federal assistance. Hodge, though, said it “could be unconstitutional” to try to impose new conditions for the receipt of federal funding after having already authorized the disaster declarations without such conditions.

Trump also asserted at the briefing that even Democratic governors would agree with his claim to total authority. New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking shortly after the briefing to CNN’s Erin Burnett, said he disagreed: “We have a Constitution. We don’t have a king.”

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. 1 comment.

Trump’s Claim of Total Authority in Crisis Is Rejected Across Ideological Lines

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/us/politics/trump-total-authority-claim.html

Trump’s Claim of Total Authority in Crisis Is Rejected Across Ideological Lines

Trading barbs with governors about their powers over when to ease restrictions on society, the president made an assertion that lacks a basis in the Constitution or federal law.

By Charlie Savage

April 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s claim that he wielded “total” authority in the pandemic crisis prompted rebellion not just from governors. Legal scholars across the ideological spectrum on Tuesday rejected his declaration that ultimately he, not state leaders, will decide when to risk lifting social distancing limits in order to reopen businesses.

“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Mr. Trump asserted at a raucous press briefing on Monday evening. “And that’s the way it’s got to be.”

But neither the Constitution nor any federal law bestows that power upon Mr. Trump, a range of legal scholars and government officials said.

“We don’t have a king in this country,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Tuesday, adding, “There are laws and facts — even in this wild political environment.” He rebutted Mr. Trump’s claim by citing a line from Alexander Hamilton, observing that presidential encroachment on powers that the Constitution reserved to the states would be “repugnant to every rule of political calculation.”

Mr. Cuomo is a Democrat, but even some of the most outspoken Republican supporters of a generally sweeping vision of presidential power agreed that Mr. Trump’s claim was empty.

John Yoo, a University of California, Berkeley, law professor known for writing much-disputed Justice Department memos after the Sept. 11 attacks claiming that President George W. Bush, as commander in chief, had the power to override legal limits on torture and surveillance for the war against Al Qaeda, said Mr. Trump could not force states to reopen.

“Only the states can impose quarantines, close institutions and businesses, and limit intrastate travel,” Mr. Yoo wrote in The National Review. “Democratic governors Gavin Newsom in California, Andrew Cuomo in New York, and J.B. Pritzker Illinois imposed their states’ lockdowns, and only they will decide when the draconian policies will end.”

Vice President Mike Pence — who styled himself as a strong proponent of states’ rights when Barack Obama was president — was a lonely voice backing Mr. Trump. “In the long history of this country,” he said on Monday, “the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary.”

The Constitution bestows specific powers on the federal government while reserving the rest to sovereign state governments. None of the enumerated powers given to the federal government directly address control over public health measures, although the Constitution does let Congress regulate interstate commerce.

Both a pandemic and social distancing measures that require the closure of businesses, to be sure, affect interstate commerce. But even if the federal government in theory could have more power in this area, it would take an act of Congress to bestow it on the presidency.

Lawmakers have created some executive powers relevant to the crisis — including enabling an administration to take steps to keep illness from spreading across state lines and to mobilize industry to ramp up production of needed goods in a public health crisis. But they have passed no statute purporting to give the presidency pre-eminence over governors on rescinding public health limits inside states.

Similarly, while Mr. Trump declared a national emergency over the pandemic, that did not mean he was tapping into some reservoir of limitless constitutional power. Rather, he was activating specific statutes that Congress has enacted creating particular standby powers, none of which include letting a president overturn state-imposed public health safety measures.

In a 1952 case involving President Harry S. Truman’s seizure of steel mills to avert a strike during the Korean War, the Supreme Court rejected his effort to invoke purported “inherent” constitutional power to resolve the crisis using different tools than Congress had provided.

And even if Congress were to now enact a law giving Mr. Trump that power — which is unlikely, with the House in the hands of Democrats — there would still be legal obstacles. The Supreme Court over the last generation has pushed back when Congress has enacted laws that the court sees as federal commandeering of states’ authority.

“The federal government may neither issue directives requiring the states to address particular problems, nor command the states’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 1997 Supreme Court ruling.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump appeared to seek a face-saving way out, saying he was “authorizing” governors to decide for themselves when to reopen their states. He offered no explanation for the implication that his permission was necessary before they could lift their own orders.

For Mr. Trump, the legal emptiness of his assertion fits with a larger pattern in his handling of the pandemic and more. Where President Theodore Roosevelt liked to invoke an African proverb to describe his approach to wielding executive power — “speak softly and carry a big stick” — Mr. Trump sometimes talks as if he has a big stick but with little to back it up.

Despite his “extreme, proud rhetoric about how he can do whatever he wants,” said Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, the story of the Trump presidency has been, with few exceptions, “talking a big game, but not in fact exercising executive power successfully.”

Mr. Trump has made greater use of a softer power of the presidency: using his pre-eminent position and the attention he commands for public persuasion, which Roosevelt called the bully pulpit. But Mr. Trump used it at first to play down the crisis, rather than issuing a call to action to galvanize the country to more swiftly take steps like ramping up testing capacity and consider imposing social distancing measures.

Some legal experts theorized that Mr. Trump could try to use the federal government’s control over disaster relief funds and equipment to punish states whose governors reject a hypothetical future White House declaration that it is time to open up.

He could, for example, try to allocate more equipment to states whose governors acquiesce to his desires, which would inevitably lead to litigation. Even so, as Mr. Yoo wrote, such punitive measures are politically unlikely to move Democratic governors in hard-hit areas to reopen their economies before public health experts say it is safe.

Mr. Trump demurred when pressed to say who told him he wielded “total” authority, and his administration has put forward no legal theory.

Some White House officials expressed uncertainty about what the president was relying on. But others pointed to Article II of the Constitution, which creates the presidency and which Mr. Trump has often invoked, and several statutes creating certain public health powers. None of those statutes they cited say a president has total authority to force governors to lift pandemic restrictions.

Indeed, numerous legal scholars rejected Mr. Trump’s claim as baseless, including Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor who testified in the president’s favor during the impeachment inquiry.

“The Constitution was written precisely the deny that particular claim,” Mr. Turley wrote on Twitter.

Complicating the task of parsing the president’s intentions, he often appears to float striking and self-aggrandizing ideas off the cuff, causing consternation before he drops them.

On March 28, for example, he abruptly suggested that he might impose a federal quarantine on the New York City area before reversing course hours later.

It was never clear what he was talking about. While Congress has granted the federal government some power to take steps to prevent the transmission of illness into the country or between states, the virus was already everywhere by then, so sealing state borders would not have kept it contained. And a quarantine that would confine large populations to their homes within a state is widely understood to be a state-level decision.

Yet despite punctuating his performance with claims of his own might, Mr. Trump has repeatedly made less-than-aggressive use of undisputed authorities at his disposal to combat the pandemic.

For example, he has repeatedly boasted about shutting down travel from China in February, using the power that Congress granted to the presidency to control the international border in a public health emergency.

But despite Mr. Trump’s claims that he was the first to take that action, 38 other countries had already put in place such a travel ban. And the American version was limited and porous.

And as it became clear in March that hospitals were hindered by shortages of masks and other equipment, Mr. Trump resisted growing calls to make use of another power Congress gave the presidency for use in a national emergency: to coerce factory owners to change what they are manufacturing under the Defense Production Act.

In late March, Mr. Trump finally declared that he was invoking the law — but he had merely delegated to Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, the ability to invoke that law in theory. No company had been ordered to do anything.

As criticism over Mr. Trump’s inaction swelled, he signed an order telling Mr. Azar to use the law to push General Motors to make ventilators. But G.M. said it had already decided by then to make ventilators in partnership with Ventec, developed plans to source the necessary parts and started preparing a factory in Kokomo, Ind., for production.

Mr. Trump has a history of making head-turning claims about his powers in other contexts. During the Russia investigation, for example, his lawyers argued that he could not be guilty of obstruction of justice because his power over the Justice Department was absolute, and Mr. Trump repeatedly claimed he could fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, if he wanted — even directly.

“Article II allows me to do whatever I want,” he said.

Yet as the eventual report by Mr. Mueller showed, in practice Mr. Trump’s power was weak. He pushed subordinates to oust the special counsel, but they would not go along.

Mr. Goldsmith said that Mr. Trump’s approach to the pandemic crisis and more had reflected a general pattern of loud words but incompetently executed action on policies that were more complex than basic tasks like issuing pardons and firing people, bogging down his efforts in court battles and dysfunction rather than clear accomplishment.

“Trump wants it to seem like he is this really powerful guy being really aggressive with executive power, but he’s not,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “There has been a huge mismatch between his rhetoric and his actions. He clearly seems to enjoy how people’s heads explode when he says this stuff, even though it’s not matched by reality.”

April 16, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Communism, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Police state. 1 comment.

Bernie Sanders bragged about how the government of New York is manufacturing hand sanitizer. What Sanders did not mention is that this hand sanitizer is not being made available to the general public. Only people who have the right connections will be able to get it.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 12, 2020

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

Yesterday, I wrote this blog post, which is called “Bernie Sanders praises the government of New York for making its own hand sanitizer, which is made by prison inmates who get paid 65 cents an hour.”

Today I have some additional information that Sanders also failed to mention.

The New York Times just reported that this government-manufactured hand-sanitizer

“by law, can only be sold to state and local government agencies, schools, police departments and some nonprofit organizations.”

So it’s not being made available to the general public.

Only people with the right connections will be able to get it.

This is typical of how things worked in the Soviet Union.

This is not the first time that Sanders has spoken out in favor of the government doing things like this.

Sanders once said the following:

“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers”

Sanders also once said that it was a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see and hear Sanders saying those words in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

But in the real world, it’s not a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

In May 2017, the Washington Post reported:

“In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds… a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.”

Then in February 2018, Reuters reported:

“Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year… according to a new university study…”

That’s 43 pounds in two years.

Here’s a photograph from 2014 of people in Venezuela waiting in line for food: (posted here under fair use from http://www.businessinsider.com/long-food-lines-are-in-venezuela-2014-2 )

You can read all about how this came to be in this blog post that I wrote.

Sanders also  said:

“I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries.”

CNN reported that Sanders was in favor of nationalizing

“the energy industry, public ownership of banks, telephone, electric, and drug companies and of the major means of production such as factories and capital”

So here’s what we know about Sanders, based on his own words:

1) He wants the government to take ownership of major industries.

2) He wants people to have to wait in line for food.

3) He wants people to have fewer choices when it comes to consumer goods.

4) He supports a system where the general population does not have access to certain consumer goods, and only people with the right connections can get them.

5) He supports a system that uses prison labor to manufacture consumer goods.

6) He supports a system that pays these prison workers only 65 cents an hour.

Here are some of my other blog posts about Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders does not want you to see these photographs of the health care that regular Cubans get

Video shows Bernie Sanders staffer Kyle Jurek advocating for riots, gulags, shootings

Bernie Sanders makes global warming and income inequality worse by spending his campaign donations on private jets

Bernie Sanders said it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food. Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what it’s actually like to wait in line for food in Venezuela.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela

The only way that rich people could pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax would be by selling enough stock to get the money to pay the tax. This would drive down stock prices, and would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

Here’s a bunch of horror stories from the Canadian health care system that Bernie Sanders wants the U.S. to copy

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders says it’s “not acceptable” that some of his employees have complained about getting paid less than $15 an hour

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders changes his tune on “millionaires and billionaires” after the media reports that he is one of them

Bernie Sanders in the 1970s urged nationalization of most major industries

I have four questions for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and anyone else who calls themselves a socialist

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers

Bernie Sanders says he’s too busy campaigning to answer reporter’s question about the failures of socialism in Venezuela

Bernie Sanders says Uber’s employees are treated unfairly, so why does his campaign use Uber for 100% of its taxi rides?

Bernie Sanders supports $15 minimum wage, but only pays his interns $12 an hour

An open question to Bernie Sanders regarding your recent comment about deodorant

Bernie Sanders’ war on women

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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March 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders praises the government of New York for making its own hand sanitizer, which is made by prison inmates who get paid 65 cents an hour

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 11, 2020

Bernie Sanders just said the following:

“I just learned a few moments ago that in New York State the government is doing the right thing. They are manufacturing disinfectant, for hand washing, to make sure that everybody will be able to get the Purell or whatever they need.”

“What they’re saying is, they are telling the manufacturers today to stop the price-gouging. And they’re manufacturing it. And we are prepared to say that to the pharmaceutical industry: stop ripping off the American people.”

Slate just reported the following:

“New York Will Use Prison Labor to Make Hand Sanitizer”

“The incarcerated workers typically make 65 cents an hour”

Bernie Sanders is in favor of using prison labor that makes 65 cents an hour.

This is not the first time that Sanders has praised prison labor that makes horribly low wages. The prison known as “Cuba” makes it illegal for its 11 million inmates to move out of the country, and it pays its doctors only $40 a month. The condition that Cuba forces these doctor-inmates to live under is so horrible that their homes get running water for only one hour per day. Sanders thinks such a system should be a role model for the U.S.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

March 11, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Health care. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders does not want you to see these photographs of the health care that regular Cubans get

Commentary by Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 28, 2020

In Cuba, if you’re a tourist with U.S. dollars, you get great health care.

And if you’re a high ranking government official, you also get great health.

But if you’re just an average Cuban citizen, you get the kind of health care that’s in these photographs.

All of these photographs are from the internet archive of the website therealcuba.com. The reason I’m using the internet archive is because the account at the original website “has been suspended.” I don’t know the reason for the suspension.

Source for all photos: https://web.archive.org/web/20100404025459/http://therealcuba.com/Page10.htm

The caption for the above photo says, “Floors full of excrements, bare mattresses, terrible food and even worse medical attention.”

Comment from Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill): The above photo shows one of Cuba’s environmentally friendly green ambulances, which does not burn any fossil fuel.

The caption for the above photo says, “Gentiuno reporters counted 27 dead roaches on the floor.”

The caption for the next four photographs below states:

These photos were taken at Havana’s psychiatric hospital, known as Mazorra, in early January of this year and taken out of the island by people who risked their lives to show the world what really is happening in Castro’s Cuba.

These are several of the more than 40 patients who died of hypothermia at the hospital, when temperatures near freezing hit the area where Mazorra is located.

These patients died because of the negligence of those in charge of this hospital, and after they died, hospital officials threw them on a table, one on top of the other, like bags of garbage at the local dumpster.

This is the fantastic healthcare that Cubans receive, according to Michael Moore and other useful idiots.

Patients are treated worse than animals. It is the cruelty of that brutal regime that has been oppressing the Cuban people for more than 51 years, while the dictator murdering and oppressing Cubans is referred to as “president,” and embraced by Latin American leaders who were democratically elected.

Many show marks that indicate that patients were beaten before they died.

The caption for the above photo says, “Yes, those black marks are flies.”

 

February 28, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Health care. 5 comments.

In Cuba, this doctor’s home has running water for only one hour a day

Here’s a six minute video on what it’s like to be a doctor in Cuba.

At 4:53, when the doctor is at her home with her husband and their daughter, the narrator says:

“… they only have running water one hour a day…”

If that’s how Cuba treats its doctors, I wonder how they treat the average citizen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBC5w2O4jVI

February 28, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Communism, Health care, Sanitation. Leave a comment.

A Firsthand Account Of Child Abuse, Castro Style

https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2000/05/a-firsthand-account-of-child-abuse-castro-style/

A Firsthand Account Of Child Abuse, Castro Style

By Armando Valladares

May 16, 2000

I was in solitary confinement in Fidel Castro’s tropical gulag — where I spent 22 years for refusing to pledge allegiance to the Communist regime — when I heard a child’s voice whimpering. “Get me out of here! Get me out of here! I want to see my mommy!” I thought my senses were failing me. I could not believe that they had imprisoned a child in those dungeons. Later on, I learned the story of Robertico.

He was 12 years old when they arrested him. A captain in the political police had left his gun in his open car. When he returned to the car he saw the child playing with it. He slapped Robertico and took him into custody. The child was sent to an adult prison in Havana, where he was condemned to spend the rest of his youth. He would not be released until he reached the age of 18.

Robertico was sent to a galley with common criminals. Within a few days, those soulless prisoners raped him. He spent several days in the hospital for treatment of rents and hemorrhages as a result. By the time he was released, his file had been stamped “homosexual” and he was taken to the prison area reserved for this classification. Robertico was so slender that his body fit through the bars of the cells. One night he slipped out to watch cartoons on the guard’s television. When he was discovered, he was sent to the punishment cells. He was taken out of those cells three times a week for injections because he was suffering from a venereal disease. A guard told me he was so young he did not even have pubic hair.

When I think of Elian Gonzalez, Robertico always comes to mind. This is the Cuban society to which Elian may return: a society where all rights are violated in the interest of subordinating all individuals to the will of the supreme leader.

Sadly, some in America still believe that the Cuban revolution was a triumph of good. It is worth remembering that many also refused to believe the horrors of the Nazi extermination camps. Then, the world had to wait for eyewitness accounts from journalists and photographic evidence from their camera crews before finally accepting the horrible reality of what had happened.

Many other Americans seem to believe that even if savage things once happened under Fidel Castro, the situation has now changed. Yet the same dictatorship, which sanctioned the abuse of Robertico and has tortured thousands of political prisoners, is still wielding absolute power over the Cuban people. Fidel Castro has never recanted or apologized for the atrocities that have been reported by those who have escaped his grasp. And there is a stream of evidence that the brutality and repression continues. Last month the United Nations Human Rights Commission condemned Cuba, for the eighth time, for its systematic violation of human rights. Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department have done the same.

It is standard practice around the world to transfer the custody of children to the surviving parent when the other dies. That is what is normal. But Cuba is not a normal place. If Elian is returned to Cuba, he will be sent back to a place where most people dream every day of escape. It is an island prison where a cruel tyranny has now lasted almost half a century. A fifth of the country’s population — around two million people — have fled, and more than half-a-million have been courageous enough to apply for visas to leave. Outside of Cuba, Elian will grow up as a free person with a free conscience. But if he returns, he will be “reprogrammed,” as Castro himself has made clear. The Cuban government has already shown the world the residence where psychiatrists and psychologists will instruct Elian on how to despise and hate anyone who is against communism — including his own mother, who gave her life to bring him to freedom. In a few years she’ll be nothing but a traitor to the Revolution. If Elian returns to Cuba his father will have no authority whatsoever to make decisions related to his education. Cuban “law” gives that authority to the Communist government.

Children are indoctrinated in Cuba from the moment they start to read. They are taught that the Communist party is owed loyalty above everything else. And they are taught that they must denounce their parents if they criticize or do anything against the Revolution or its leaders.

For Elian, absolute control by the Communist party will begin in elementary school with the so-called “Cumulative School File.” This is a little like a report card, but it is not limited to academic achievements. It measures “revolutionary integration,” not only of the student but also of his family. This file documents whether or not the child and family participate in mass demonstrations, or whether they belong to a church or religious group. The file accompanies the child for life, and is continually updated. His university options will depend on what that file says. If he does not profess a truly Marxist life, he will be denied many career possibilities.

From his elementary school days on, he will hear that God does not exist, and that religion is “the opium of the masses.” If any student speaks about God, his parents will be called to the school, warned that they are “confusing” the child and threatened. The Code for Children, Youth and Family provides for a three-year prison sentence for any parent who teaches a child ideas contrary to communism. The code is very clear: No Cuban parent has the right to “deform” the ideology of his children, and the state is the true “Father.”

Article 8 of that same code reads, “Society and the state work for the efficient protection of youth against all influences contrary to their Communist formation.” It is mandatory for all Cuban children over the age of 12 to do time in a Communist work camp in the countryside. Away from all parental supervision for nine months at a time, children there suffer from venereal disease, as well as teenage pregnancy, which inevitably ends in forced abortion.

When the reprogramming plan for Elian is complete, we will see him repeating the slogans of the Revolution. He will have lost his liberty, his ability to dream, his youthful innocence, and perhaps even hope. And should he ever do anything that angers the regime, we must hope he will not end like Robertico, cornered in a cell, calling for his mother. This time, she will not be able to save him.

February 28, 2020. Tags: , , , . Communism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders didn’t mention the dark side of education in Castro’s Cuba

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/484878-bernie-sanders-didnt-mention-the-dark-side-of-education-in-castros-cuba

Bernie Sanders didn’t mention the dark side of education in Castro’s Cuba

By Gregory J. Wallance

February 27, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeYCIfmeW70

Plain ignorance is the most charitable explanation for the misleading defense of communist Cuba offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on CBS News‘ “60 Minutes.” While saying he was opposed to Cuba’s “authoritarian nature,” Sanders insisted that “it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing?”

Sanders correctly stated that education became universal in Castro’s Cuba, but he ignored the deeply Orwellian nature of the educational system. Literacy was not sought by the Cuban regime just for the sake of literacy. From the outset, the regime viewed education, as two experts on Cuba explained in The Atlantic, as the “key to the revolution taking hold and creating a literate population loyal to the government.”

Cuban children were taught in school that their highest loyalty is to the Communist Party. They were instructed to denounce their parents to authorities for counter-revolutionary tendencies. If parents, in the privacy of their own home, explained ideas to their children that conflicted with communist ideology, they could be jailed for three years under the Code for Children, Youth and Family.

The school system stifled private religious beliefs. Cuban children were taught that God does not exist and that religion was the “opium of the masses.” If a child mentioned God in a class, the child’s parents were called in for a stern lecture that they were “confusing” the child and given a warning.

Starting in elementary school, a student’s progress was recorded in a so-called “cumulative school file.” The file not only recorded academic progress but also measured the “revolutionary integration” of both the student and the student’s family, such as whether they participated in mass demonstrations. The file was updated throughout the life of the child, whose education and work options would be determined by what it contained.

Cubans are literate, but the regime severely constricts how they can use their literacy. Freedom House describes Cuba as “a one-party communist state that outlaws political pluralism, suppresses dissent, and severely restricts basic civil liberties.” Only a small percentage of Cubans have access to the internet. Cubans cannot read viewpoints critical of, or disapproved by, the regime, and expressing such views means running considerable risks.

One example of political repression, among too many, is the Cuban dissident Dr. Óscar Elías Biscet, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he was awarded in absentia by President George W. Bush. Dr. Biscet has been repeatedly arrested for his non-violent political activities (as recently as last week) and held in horrific conditions. He was once sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. (Biscet was released after four years following international protests.)

But there is a less charitable explanation for Senator Sanders’ defense of an Orwellian system than simple ignorance. In 1985, Sanders visited Nicaragua and then defended the Soviet-backed Sandinista regime despite its serious human rights abuses, including the suspension of Nicaraguans’ civil liberties. He refused to call the Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro a dictator even though Maduro had rigged his election and banned the elected legislature from passing laws. After a visit to Cuba in the mid-1980s, Sanders said that he was “excited and impressed by the Cuban revolution.”

That last comment is reminiscent of what Lincoln Steffens, the famous muckraking journalist, had to say in 1921 after a visit to the nascent Soviet Union. “I have seen the future, and it works.” Evidently the heady revolutionary spirit and the glittering but false promise of a utopian society had blinded this otherwise tough-minded reporter to a nightmare. Something like that may have happened to Bernie Sanders when he went to Cuba and Nicaragua. But in refusing to acknowledge the brutal reality of these regimes, Sanders demonstrated that he is just as soft on left-wing dictators and autocrats as Donald Trump is on right-wing ones.

February 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders Misleading Narrative on Communist Cuba

https://townhall.com/columnists/johnrlottjr/2020/02/25/bernie-sanders-on-communist-cuba-n2561825

Bernie Sanders Misleading Narrative on Communist Cuba

February 25, 2020

With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) becoming the odds on favorite to win the Democrat nomination, the media rehabilitation efforts have begun. First up on Sunday evening was CBS’s 60 Minutes, which moved to protect Sanders against attacks that he is a communist.

Host Anderson Cooper didn’t ask Sanders about his decision to honeymoon in the former Soviet Union or about past proposals for “public ownership of utilities, banks, and major industries,” proposals that Sanders has never disavowed. However, Cooper did ask Sanders about some positive statements that he has made about Communist Cuba.

In explaining why Cubans didn’t help the U.S. overthrow Fidel Castro, 60 Minutes first played an old interview of Sanders explaining it failed because people liked Castro. He “educated the kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society.” No mention is made of the police state and Castro killing or throwing his political opponents in prison.

“You know it is unfair to simply say that everything is bad,” Sanders told Cooper. “When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

Sanders can’t acknowledge it, but the push in communist countries to make sure that everyone could read had a dark side — the literacy programs were a massive indoctrination effort. The communist governments used the education system the same way that they take over at the same time and use television, radio, and newspapers. Controlling information is the reason that communist governments would regularly jam radio Voice of America’s broadcasts in their countries during the Cold War.

That is the same pattern that we have seen in other noncommunist totalitarian countries such as Nazi Germany. But undoubtedly Sanders wouldn’t be as effusive in his praise of the Nazi education system. In both the Nazi and communist systems, even simple math problems contained indoctrination lessons for students.

Education was just another part of the police state to control people. If you could teach people from a young age how wonderful the government is and how horrible the lives are for people in freer countries, you didn’t have to spend as much money on the secret police.

Cuba, other communist countries, and other totalitarian countries spent a lot more on education than freer countries with the same per capita income. Totalitarian countries also start public schooling at younger ages than freer countries, and they did so because they wanted to weaken the connection between children and their parents and replace the parent’s values with those of the government.

Sometimes these governments went much further than simply starting school at younger ages. For example, during the 1920s and 1950s, the Soviet Union experimented with raising children in communal children’s houses and dining halls that almost completely removed children from the influence of their parents. While fighting in Afghanistan during the 1980s, the Soviet government forcibly took tens of thousands of 3-and 4-year-old Afghanis to the USSR and raised them away from the influences of their families. The hope was that when later returned to Afghanistan, they would form the core of a loyal government administration.

In 1989, immediately before the fall of the Soviet Union, former President Ronald Reagan pointed out, “the biggest of Big Brothers is helpless against the technology of the Information Age.” Unlike Sanders, Reagan understood that part of winning the Cold War was breaking the control that communist governments had over the information that their citizens received.

Sanders is not alone in praising Cuba’s health care system. Of course, when Fidel Castro got very ill, he went to Spain for medical treatment. Their most significant bragging right was their improvements in infant mortality rates. But while infant mortality rates were improving dramatically between 1960 and 1971 in all the rest of North, Central, and South America, Cuba alone saw things get worse. Cuba’s big improvements occurred long after the attempted overthrow of Castro. To lower the infant mortality rate, the government forced abortions for high-risk babies. The government also took many pregnant women away from their families and ordered that they stay in special maternity homes. By 2000, the Cuban government was ordering 40 percent of mothers to stay in these homes for at least a portion of their pregnancy.

Cuba was able to eventually get an infant mortality rate slightly below that in the United States, but Anderson Cooper didn’t ask Sanders any follow-up questions about how the Cubans accomplished this “transformation.”

Communist countries from Cuba to Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union impoverished their citizens, though their leaders lived lives of luxury. The general citizens had miserable lives. Bernie Sanders might not want to acknowledge it, but their supposedly fabulous accomplishments had a real dark side.

February 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

The Moral Failing of Bernie Sanders

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/bernie-sanders-support-communism-moral-failing/#slide-1

The Moral Failing of Bernie Sanders

February 26, 2020

Sanders was not a liberal during the Cold War. He was an outright Communist sympathizer.

According to CNN, Bernie Sanders “has been consistent for 40 years.” Some find this reassuring. Bernie is not a finger-in-the-wind politician who tacks this way or that depending upon what’s popular. On the other hand, if someone has never changed his mind throughout 78 years of life, it suggests ideological rigidity and imperviousness to evidence, not high principle.

Why make a fuss about Bernie’s past praise of Communist dictatorships? After all, the Cold War ended three decades ago, and a would-be President Sanders cannot exactly surrender to the Soviet Union.

It’s a moral issue. Sanders was not a liberal during the Cold War, i.e. someone who favored arms control, peace talks, and opposed support for anti-Communist movements. He was an outright Communist sympathizer, meaning he was always willing to overlook or excuse the crimes of regimes like Cuba and Nicaragua; always ready to suggest that only American hostility forced them to, among other things, arrest their opposition, expel priests, and dispense with elections.

Good ol’ consistent Bernie reprised one of the greatest hits of the pro-Castro Left last week on 60 Minutes. When Anderson Cooper pressed the senator by noting that Castro imprisoned a lot of dissidents, Sanders said he condemned such things. But even that grudging acknowledgment rankled the old socialist, who then rushed to add, “When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing?”

Actually, the first thing Castro did upon seizing power (note Sanders’s whitewashing term “came into office”) was to march 600 of Fulgencio Batista’s supporters into two of the island’s largest prisons, La Cabana and Santa Clara. Over the next five months, after rigged trials, they were shot. Some “trials” amounted to public spectacles. A crowd of 18,000 gathered in the Palace of Sports to give a thumbs-down gesture for Jesus Sosa Blanco. Before he was shot, Sosa Blanco noted that ancient Rome couldn’t have done it better.

Batista was a bad guy, one must say. But summary executions are frowned upon by true liberals.

Next, Castro announced that scheduled elections would be postponed indefinitely. The island is still waiting. Within months, he began to close independent newspapers, even some that had supported him during the insurgency. All religious colleges were shuttered in May 1961, their property confiscated by the state. N.B., Senator Sanders: Castro also found time to knee-cap the labor unions. David Salvador, the elected leader of the sugar-workers union had been a vocal Batista opponent. He was arrested in 1962 and would spend twelve years in Cuba’s gulag.

The Black Book of Communism recounts that between 1959 and 1999, more than 100,000 Cubans were imprisoned for political reasons, and between 15,000 and 17,000 people were shot. Neighbors were encouraged to inform on one another and children on their parents. During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, Cuba imprisoned gay people in concentration camps. Like other Communist paradises, Cuba’s greatest export was boat people. About two million of the island’s 11 million inhabitants escaped. Countless others died in the attempt. Did Sanders ever wonder why a country that had done such great work on literacy and health care had to shoot people to prevent them from fleeing?

Bernie Sanders has credulously repeated the other great propaganda talking point about Cuba: its supposedly wonderful “universal” health-care system. It’s not wonderful. Even those wishing to give Cuba the benefit of the doubt note the lack of basic necessities. Many hospitals in the country lack even reliable electricity and clean running water. A 2016 visitor found that patients in one Havana hospital had to bring everything with them — medicine, sheets, towels, etc.

The only working bathroom in the entire hospital had only one toilet. The door didn’t close, so you had to go with people outside watching. Toilet paper was nowhere to be found, and the floor was far from clean.

Yes, Cuba has high rates of literacy, but the state wanted readers in order to propagandize them. Granma tells people what to believe and forbids access to other sources of information. To this day, the regime controls what people can know. There are two Internets on the island. One for tourists and those approved by the government and the other, with restricted access, for the people.

Bernie Sanders has access to all the information he can absorb, and yet he remains an apologist for regimes that violate every standard of decency. Unlike the Cuban people, he is responsible for his own ignorance and pig-headedness. He claims to be a “democratic socialist,” but as his Cuba remarks suggest, the modifier may be just for show.

February 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Cuban Americans Tell What Life Under Castro Was Really Like

https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/02/24/cuban-americans-tell-what-life-under-castro-was-really-like/

Cuban Americans Tell What Life Under Castro Was Really Like

February 24, 2020

When Sebastian Arcos and family members tried to travel from Cuba to the United States, authorities stopped them in what turned out to be a sting operation to arrest one of his uncles, who had advocated and fought for Fidel Castro’s revolution more than 20 years earlier.

That was Dec. 31, 1981, and for trying to leave the island nation, Arcos was jailed for a year.

His uncle spent seven years in jail. His father, also a political supporter of the communist revolution and like many other citizens soured on the broken promises of democracy, was imprisoned for six years.

“For the sake of argument, let’s say both the [Cuban] health care system and education system are perfect, which they are not. There have been thousands of political executions, tens of thousands of political prisoners, and 3 million Cuban exiles,” said Arcos, 58, today associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.

“So, the question to ask when we are told to consider the good things is: What is the price for the good?” Arcos told The Daily Signal.

Arcos said that he is “surprised when talking heads in the United States will give Fidel Castro the benefit of the doubt.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a professed democratic socialist, has defended comments he made in the 1980s, when he said of Castro: “He educated their kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society.”

In defending those remarks during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Sanders said:

We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office [in 1959], you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

https://twitter.com/60Minutes/status/1231732950540132355

Castro handed control of the government to his brother, Raúl Castro, before his death at age 90 in November 2016.

Miguel Díaz-Canel was named president when the younger Castro stepped down at age 87 in February 2018, but is largely considered a figurehead. Raúl Castro, head of Cuba’s Communist Party, is said to make major government decisions.

Sanders noted that President Donald Trump has had kind things to say about authoritarian rulers such as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Arcos joined the Cuban Committee for Human Rights in 1987, providing reports to the United Nations Human Rights Commission before coming to the United States in 1992.

He said people should know better than to concede gross human rights abuses in Cuba, and then point to health care and literacy.

“That’s been the regime’s argument for decades,” Arcos said. “Whoever makes that argument is just repeating their lines.”

Cuba’s military dictatorship controls 80% of the economy. Political prisoners are common, and courts face political interference.

The Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Cuba at 178th among the world’s nations based on how free its economy is.

Cuba did adopt some free market policies about a decade ago, but the government hasn’t been a strong effort to implement the reforms. Private property is allowed, but is strictly regulated by the government.

According to Heritage’s index, low state-dictated wages increase poverty in Cuba. The state runs the means of production, property seizures without due process are common, and the top income tax rate is 50%.

Repression in Cuba is on the rise, said Janisset Rivero, 50, a human rights activist who lived in Cuba until age 14. Her family was wrongly accused of engaging in seditious speech against the Cuban government because they received a letter from family abroad.

“Health care and education are not as good as the propaganda claims,” Rivero said. “It’s indoctrination more than education. The Cuban system doesn’t tolerate critical thinking.”

The two former Cuban citizens interviewed for this story gave similar accounts of health care in Cuba

They said the health care system has two tiers: One is for tourists, elites, and the military, which is top rate and what people see. The other is for the general population. When Cubans go to those hospitals, they have to bring their own food, water, bed sheets, and pillows.

Of support inside the United States for Cuba’s communist system, Rivero said, “It’s ignorance. Some people are ignorant.”

However, she suspects that in some cases, it’s worse.

“Some people simply support socialism and communism with a big state that can take control of people’s lives,” Rivero said. “Some supporters know exactly what is going on in Cuba and believe it would be OK here because they believe they know best.”

Frank Calzon, who retired last year as executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, was born in 1944. His parents sent him to the United States after the Castro-led revolution. He became active in human rights causes and led the center for 22 years.

“A lot of claims the Cuban government makes should be suspect,” Calzon said. “Cuban students are not really more educated now. In 1951, the country had 75-80% of students [who] knew how to read and write.”

A strong spirit exists in Cuba for freedom, he said, pointing to the group Ladies in White as one example.

“The Ladies in White is a group of mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters of political prisoners,” Calzon said. “They try to march to Mass on Sundays, but Cuban police intercept them and take them to prisons. They release them that evening, but they take them several miles out of their city.”

February 27, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Fabiola Santiago: I went to school in Cuba under Castro. Here’s what it’s like, Bernie Sanders.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fabiola-santiago/article240425431.html

I went to school in Cuba under Castro. Here’s what it’s like, Bernie Sanders.

By Fabiola Santiago

February 25, 2020

Miami Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago, pictured in third grade in Cuba, was ostracized for not wearing her school uniform with the required scarf of the young Communist pioneers.

Look at the little girl in the picture.

In her serious demeanor, a front for fear — and in her story — you might find, Senator Bernie Sanders, some of the profundity lacking in your populist bid to become the Democratic nominee and 46th U.S. president.

This girl’s real-life experience is the antidote to your cheap, propagandist talking points on Cuba’s education system and Fidel Castro.

The banner behind her tells you her school in the city of Matanzas is confiscated property. “Intervenida” is the euphemism the new government led by Castro used to swoop in and appropriate every asset in the country, not only from the wealthy but from the middle class, too.

And, to make the point that this is now Castro country, take it or leave it, the private school is renamed after his 26th of July Movement.

“You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program,” you told “60 Minutes” host Anderson Cooper. “Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

https://twitter.com/60Minutes/status/1231732950540132355

Let’s break it all down.

The girl is 8 and in the third grade, the daughter of a beloved and respected teacher forced to resign over her refusal to teach Communist dogma to her students. (More on the mother later.)

Her father, a merchant of flour goods, sees his small, one-man business operation confiscated, and when he declines to continue to operate it as an employee of the state, he is sent to work in the agriculture fields as punishment.

Everyone in town knows the family is leaving the country to the United States.

Like the thousands before them and thousands along with them, they’re branded “gusanos,” worms — and this creates a lot of tension for the children in your idyllic “literacy system.”

The girl has never scored below a 96 on any test.

She’s No. 1 on the honor roll — and the principal wants her to wear the state-mandated red scarf of the Communist youth organization, los pioneros, or she’s out. Her parents refuse. Her mother is called in for a conference. The women argue.

The truce: The price for not wearing the pañoleta is being knocked down to second place for lack of revolutionary spirit. The top spot will go to a boy who is an eager and loyal pionerito (like decades later, a returned Elián González would be, too).

The girl is sad to lose the place she worked hard for over a scarf she sort of liked and everyone gets to wear, except for her and her little brother. But she loves her friends, no matter whether they’re leaving or staying, or if they chant every morning —“Pioneers, for Communism! We will be like Che” — or stay silent like she does.

Communist indoctrination

As the years pass and the wait for a visa wears on, she learns to work around the Communist indoctrination.

When she’s asked to write a glowing essay on Fidel Castro, she writes biography, complete, thorough, but no glowing appraisal because at 10, she knows more than Bernie Sanders at 78.

She’s a little more effusive with Camilo Cienfuegos, the more charismatic comandante who mysteriously “disappeared” during a plane flight. Even she, a child, suspects foul play.

Her little brother, a smart-aleck class clown, also has to make adjustments.

When his teacher asks him to form a sentence with the words “agrarian reform,” her brother eagerly chimes in out loud: “The agrarian reform is very sour!” His sentence rhymes in Spanish — and it’s a hit with classmates, but not with the teacher, an ardent revolutionary.

She is so mad she grabs him by an ear and pulls so hard and long that the boy bleeds all the way home. The next day, the mother goes to school and she could be heard screaming to the teacher that if she ever touches one of her kids again, she’ll be the one dragged down the street.

The girl fears that her mother could go to jail and she would be without parents. But her mother is still respected because she had earned the place she gave up on principle.

Literacy predates Castro

See, despite your claims, senator, that it was Castro who started a literacy program in Cuba, a common and often-repeated lie, the girl’s mother worked in a literacy program in the countryside after graduation from a teacher’s college in the early 1950s.

Teachers had to do so to earn their spot in a city classroom.

She drove a Jeep (bought by her oldest businessman brother, who paid for her schooling) part of the way, then she rode a horse that was brought to her so she could reach the one-room school house.

This isn’t a tall tale of Cuban exiles in Miami. There are photos of all the above to prove it.

In one, she’s tending to the garden planted in front of the school, while a student peeks from inside. The back is inscribed: “First school where I was able to practice my profession as a teacher. San Gregorio Farm. Ceiba Mocha, Matanzas, Cuba.”

Yes, by the time she leaves Cuba in 1969, this girl knows that the Cuban education system is dogmatic and abusive to innocent children who are ostracized for their parents’ beliefs.

Her parents’ heart-wrenching decision to leave it all behind and start a new life in Miami, saves her from worse. After their 12th birthdays, her friends have to enroll in la escuela al campo. They have to leave their home and their parents to live in barracks in the countryside and work in agricultural fields.

Because the “free education” in Cuba isn’t free, and the Castro literacy program the American left has bought into is rooted in indoctrination and devotion to the one-party political system.

Your apparatchik views on Cuba, senator, are as old and dated as the photos of me and my mother.

Sixty-one years of unrelenting dictatorship later, and in the year 2020, the least Florida Democrats looking forward to the primary in March deserve from the front-runner is lucidity, not more obfuscation.

But when you can’t even verbalize on “60 Minutes” how you’ll fund your signature healthcare project, pay for all that free college and child care you’re offering, what else can be expected on Cuba?

You are who you are, a populist riding a wave of discontent, as unfit for the presidency as your rival on the other side of the political spectrum.

Truly not yours, the little girl in the photograph, a registered Democrat in swing-state Florida.

February 26, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Education. Leave a comment.

Bernie Rally Features Trotskyist Seattle Council Member Whose Party Wants To Seize Control Of Banks

https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/18/kshama-sawant-bernie-sanders-socialist/

Bernie Rally Features Trotskyist Seattle Council Member Whose Party Wants To Seize Control Of Banks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PCc740TeIk

 

February 18, 2020

Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, a socialist who belongs to a Trotskyist organization that wants to seize control of America’s banks, was a featured speaker at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2020 campaign rally in Seattle on Monday.

In her speech to Sanders’s supporters, Sawant called for a “powerful socialist movement to end all capitalist oppression and exploitation.”

Sawant is a member of Socialist Alternative, a fringe Trotskyist group that is open about its goal of a “socialist United States and a socialist world,” according to its website.

The Trotskyist group’s platform includes taking control of the “top 500 corporations and banks that dominate the U.S. economy” and paying compensation “on the basis of proven need to small investors, not millionaires.”

Additionally, in order to put an end to layoffs, the socialist group calls for taking “bankrupt and failing companies into public ownership.”

Sawant was formerly an activist in the progressive Occupy Wall Street movement. Following Trump’s election, she used government resources to help organize anti-Trump “Occupy Inauguration” protests.

Neither the Sanders campaign nor Sawant returned a request for comment.

February 22, 2020. Tags: , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders: “I was very excited and impressed by the Cuban revolution”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Lo8YcEcPY

February 8, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Immigration patterns prove that everyone wants to live in a capitalist country. Even the people who claim to be against capitalism never actually move to a non-capitalist country.

Immigration patterns prove that everyone wants to live in a capitalist country. Even the people who claim to be against capitalism never actually move to a non-capitalist country.

January 22, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Immigration. Leave a comment.

Video shows Bernie Sanders staffer Kyle Jurek advocating for riots, gulags, shootings

https://pjmedia.com/trending/bombshell-video-shows-bernie-sanders-field-organizer-advocating-for-riots-and-gulags/

Vid Shows Bernie Sanders Staffer Advocating for Riots, Gulags, Shootings

January 14, 2020

Update: The full video of the Bernie Sanders campaign staffer has dropped and it’s worse than imagined. Not only does Kyle Jurek, who has been paid $11,000 so far by the campaign, advocate for putting Americans in gulags, but he also talks about plans to shoot Americans who don’t fight for the “revolution.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsUAvh_PCWA

Original article:

James O’Keefe is about to drop another hidden-camera expose on the Bernie Sanders campaign and explosive doesn’t even begin to describe it. The teaser dropped on Twitter Tuesday shows Kyle Jurek, who identifies as a “Field Organizer” for the Sanders campaign, explaining a plan for riots if Trump is re-elected. “F**king cities burn,” he says. Jurek then goes on to discuss the benefits of government reeducation. “In Nazi Germany after the fall of the Nazi party there was a sh*t ton of the populace that was f**king Nazi-fied. Germany had to spend billions of dollars to reeducate their people to not be Nazis. We’re probably going to have to do the same f**king thing here.”

Then he dropped some serious truth about Bernie’s “education plan.” Jurek revealed, “that’s kind of what Bernie’s whole free education for everybody…because we’re going to have to teach you to not be a f**king Nazi.” Perhaps the scariest part was Jurek’s high regard for the benefits of Soviet gulags. “There’s a reason Josef Stalin had gulags,” he said. “And actually, gulags were a lot better than what the CIA has told us that they were. Like, people were actually paid a living wage in gulags, they had conjugal visits in gulags. Gulags were actually meant for, like, reeducation.”

As if that’s not stupid enough, Jurek continues, “Greatest way to break a f**king billionaire of their like, privilege and their idea that they’re superior, go out and break rocks for twelve hours a day. You’re a working-class person and you’re going to learn what that means.”

Jurek also goes into what sounds like a detailed plan for civil unrest that will start in Milwaukee and spread to all the major cities in America if Bernie Sanders doesn’t get the DNC nomination. “Be ready to be in Milwaukee for the DNC convention. We’re gonna make 1978 [he means 1968] look like a f**king Girl Scout f**king cookout.” Then he issues a threat to police. “The cops are gonna be the ones that are getting f**king beaten in Milwaukee.”

Just a reminder for folks what gulags were actually like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzxBDWkwKWg

 

January 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism. Leave a comment.

Why a “Billionaire” Wealth Tax Would Hurt the Working Poor and the Middle Class

https://fee.org/articles/why-a-billionaire-wealth-tax-would-hurt-the-working-poor-and-the-middle-class/

Why a “Billionaire” Wealth Tax Would Hurt the Working Poor and the Middle Class

Although the wealth tax was drafted with the poor in mind, its passing could cause them more harm than benefit.

By Mark Hornshaw

October 4, 2019

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wants to tax billionaires out of existence, or at least make them an endangered species. His proposed wealth tax of up to 8 percent per year would mean “the wealth of billionaires would be cut in half over 15 years,” he says.

The progressive tax would start at 1 percent on retained wealth over $32 million, rising to 2 percent over $50 million, and so on, reaching to the top rate of 8 percent on wealth over $10 billion. Whatever is left would be taxed again the following year, and every year until it was gone.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that you don’t have an ethical problem with taxing people a second time on wealth that has already been taxed. And let’s set aside the issue of whether billionaires would simply leave their wealth on the table for Sanders to take, rather than fleeing to places with less ambitious governments. Let’s posit for the sake of argument that the tax achieves its aims.

The question then becomes, would it be beneficial for the working poor who Sanders is appealing to? Would it leave them better off or worse?

Net Worth Isn’t What You Think It Is

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $109 billion, according to Bloomberg. If you think you can get a decent abode for $1 million, then it seems like he could buy 109,000 plush houses. Does anybody need that much wealth? Wouldn’t it be better off going to people who need it more? How does leaving that corporate wealth in private hands help the average person? This is the simplistic way that Sanders wants you to think about the situation. But this is not a true reflection of the situation at all.

In pre-capitalist feudal times, wealth was acquired by conquest and subjugation. The Duke in the castle was there because his group was militarily the strongest, having defeated the previous band of marauders, who defeated everybody else in the area. A Duke’s castle might be sacked by the army of another Duke, but the common person’s lot in life would be the same, albeit with a new master.

In this system, nearly all production was for the benefit of the wealthy “strongman.” The tailor-made fine clothes for the Duke. The blacksmith shod the Duke’s horses, the woodworker made the Duke’s furniture, and so on. For everybody else, virtually nothing was produced at all apart from meager subsistence. It was not possible to “become” wealthy in such a society—there was no peaceful process by which it could occur.

Sanders and many others would like you to view the world in that paradigm. But that is not how a market economy works.

Sure, the rich still appreciate their custom furniture and fine clothes—and you can make a modest living as a craftsman or tailor. But you don’t become a billionaire yourself from those activities. You become a billionaire in a market economy by producing products for millions, or even billions of people.

The people who started Amazon, Google, Walmart, Apple, Microsoft, and Disney got rich through their unparalleled level of service to the masses. They were “voted rich” through the voluntary choices of millions of people.

Amazon is one of the most amazing engines of poverty reduction and enhancement of living standards the world has ever seen. They literally make the working poor less poor, by offering them goods and services they like at prices they can afford. (Not to mention the opportunities Amazon creates by empowering and encouraging entrepreneurs to start new side businesses at very low start-up cost.)

The Problem with a Wealth Tax

I’m sure Bezos has some nice houses (as does Sanders) and other luxury items that would make our minds boggle. But not $109 billion worth. Most of the wealth of people like Bezos consists of shares in the companies they started, which were initially worth zero. It is other people’s recent valuations of those shares on the stock exchange that we are quoting. The figures come from multiplying the last traded parcel of shares by the total number of shares owned – not from any realistic offer to purchase the whole company.

Somebody like Bezos does not normally keep a spare $8 billion under the mattress, just in case Uncle Sam asks for it. In order to raise that money, he would have to sell down some of the stock of his company, and probably much more than $8 billion worth at the current valuation. But who would buy them?

When you credibly threaten to confiscate wealth, valuations can plummet. Not to mention the fact that all other billionaires (at least American ones) would be in the same predicament, being forced sellers of large portions of their own stocks.

Perhaps during the initial rounds of the tax, there may be some small investors, small enough to be flying below Sanders’s radar for the time being. But if these shareholders thought they could do a better job running those companies, they could just buy those shares on the open market right now. By not doing so in an un-coerced market, they are indicating that they feel less competent than the current owners.

So over time, it would be unlikely that any new Amazons or Apples would be started, and existing firms would be placed in ever less capable hands, with ever lower valuations as the wealth tax works its way down the line from billionaires to millionaires.

Sanders would either have to tax a vastly diminished pie or ask foreign investors to buy up US firms or, more likely, just confiscate shares directly and nationalize the companies. After a very short time, these companies would end up being majority-owned by the state – a veritable “trillionaire.”

Who’s Best Suited to Run a Business?

But perhaps you agree with Sanders that billionaires should not even exist, so it is still worth it anyway, regardless of how much tax is raised. The key question is, would the state do a better job running those companies than the entrepreneurs who started them or the investors who may have voluntarily bought them?

This is an important question, since these companies were started to provide goods and services to the masses, so it is the poor and middle class who will suffer if they do not operate efficiently. But now, instead of being run by competent, productive, future-oriented billionaires, these companies would be managed by an incompetent, non-productive, ultra-short-term-oriented trillionaire institution.

A billionaire businessperson could, if they wanted to, spend their fortune building statues of themselves. But that would only be a drain on the wealth they had acquired through previous rounds of serving customers. They would quickly find that it does not generate new income, and would promptly stop, choosing instead to invest in ways that expand the business by serving even more people. There is an effective feedback loop to weed out unproductive choices and reward productive ones.

But the state, for its entire existence, has had the privilege of being able to just confiscate any resources it wants and order them to be used in any way its rulers direct. It can choose to build statues, pyramids, or whatever it wants, whether or not it serves real consumer needs. Neither does it have to worry about competition from new entrants doing a better job; it can just ban them. Since nobody gets to choose whether to commit the resources or buy the finished goods, there is no way of knowing whether those resources were spent wisely or poorly.

This does not mean people in government don’t make any good decisions. They will stumble upon some good ones over time. But the people involved do not bear any direct consequences for their bad decisions, and neither are they directly rewarded for their good decisions. They have less effective mechanisms for weeding out the bad decisions and doubling down on the good ones. There is more incentive for managers and employees to make their own job more comfortable and less demanding, and there is less consequence for leaving customers twisting in the wind.

In short, a wealth tax means state-owned enterprises, and a state-owned enterprise can get away with being unresponsive, self-absorbed and lazy.

If you dislike productive billionaires, you ought to be 1,000 times more suspect of confiscatory trillionaires.

October 6, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Communism, Economics. Leave a comment.

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