Saint Bernie

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and the metaphysics of geopolitics

Pope Francis poses for a photo with President Donald Trump, his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka Trump, accompanied by her husband, Jared Kushner, during a private audience at the Vatican May 24, 2019. © CNS/Paul Haring Pope Francis poses for a photo with President Donald Trump, his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka Trump, accompanied by her husband, Jared Kushner, during a private audience at the Vatican May 24, 2019. © CNS/Paul Haring

At this particular moment, the elderly Jew from Vermont running for U.S. president is as important to me at as is the wisdom of age. Because no matter what comes of the Democratic National Convention in July and the presidential election itself in November, we will remember this authentic period in time when Bernie Sanders had widespread support within the DNC. This phenomenon spans across continents to the people of France along with everybody else across the globe standing up to corporatism.

A perverted Christianity

When I was young, the Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan gave the U.S. government, American corporations and inevitably the world the right to mass murder gay men in “the West” and millions of non-specific innocent people in Africa quite legally with HIV/AIDS.

How did his administration do this? By penetrating people’s hearts and minds through the religious institutions they trusted with their belief systems. There was no public or private response to the epidemic for a long time and then when there was, it wasn’t ages before it was adequate in both medical care and in spirit. Victims were treated like livestock during an invisible genocide, a very dark chapter in American history, and the only people who recognize as such now are those who of us who witnessed it in some capacity.

In the 1990s, inasmuch as I worked both at an HIV clinic in San Francisco and at HIV/AIDS medical research sites in sub-Saharan Africa, primarily in Rwanda and Zambia, I was present. During most of the 1980s, all of the horrific suffering of millions happened outside of the public view, and no one had the courage, with the exception of England’s Princess Diana, to show compassion and, yes, some of the “religious” even went so far as to sanction the genocide as an “act of God.”

Unquestionably, Jesus Christ would have instead helped the gays and the Africans suffering with HIV/AIDS. That tremendous suffering and those countless brutal deaths have been erased from public memory. There is a vast public amnesia. Because the “moral majority” said so. Because of “political technology” employed by Neoconservatives, the “religious right” advocated the mass murder of millions. Neoconservative backed by corporations succeeded in replacing authentic conservatives led by Pat Buchanan with Christian fundamentalists – the exploitation of religiosity for political gains.

What is going on today is no different. The country is dominated by the “memory” of corporations and their hold on some of the religious. Under Reagan the American public was sold off by those Neocons to the big corporations of the American dynasty, like modern Medieval serfs, harnessed in chains of debt enslavement. During the Carter period, Neoconservatives allied with Evangelical Christians, viscerally anti-communist and generally well disposed towards Israel, the foundation of which they see as a divine miracle foreshadowing the return of Christ.

There became two Christianities. A perverted impostor swept over our great land or as the Canadian academic Matthew Ehret calls “oligarchical,” the political version of the religion. In fact, it now appears that Trump prefers the impostor version of Christianity himself. At the recent “National Prayer Breakfast,” the president showed his true colors and spent the time mocking his opposition. But this religious fakery is not an American problem, it is a global one caused by corporations, oligarchs and the very wealthy in the United States. It’s been going on at least since World War II when the American corporations who financed the Third Reich really got the ball rolling in war brokering and profiteering —Trump's dad was one. It is known that “Old Man Trump,” the appellation given him by folk singer Woody Guthrie in a 1950 song by the same title, continued his racist ways after the war. It is the physical manifestation of a metaphysical war. White supremacy.

Under President Trump, the U.S. government has now formally adopted its decades’ old covert, coercive and highly volatile partnership with both the Vatican and the Phanar in Constantinople, in the light of day. President Harry Truman started this corporate venture in the dark with Pope Pius XII and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Athenagoras after World War II.

Recently, the CIA released the secret files. It’s become moral blackmail, chantage moral. In Ukraine, the U.S. government is picking up on a thread the Catholic Church started to sew during the Crusades. ‪The CIA’s war on Christianity in Ukraine has historical roots. The independence of the new Ukrainian state “church” has triggered a union between those rag tag Ukrainian Orthodox and the Catholic Church. With this new religious freedom “alliance” the U.S. government is doing exactly what it had been accusing Putin and Russia of scheming. It’s totally unconstitutional and subversively screwing over U.S. tax paying citizens. 

I recommend reading this article: “How schismatics are being used by the U.S. Government against the Orthodox Church.” Fifty years from now when the CIA is again forced to disclose documents, I think we will learn that the agency continued to infiltrate the religions in ways we cannot imagine today. We already know they create cults like Scientology. These are acts of imperialism, not of democracy. These covert and arbitrary services benefit corporations and oligarchs, not us everyday Americans.

We owe it to ourselves to recognize that all of Western Christianity is now part of a corporate venture. It’s well beyond time to peacefully fight oligarchy and formalize anti-corporatism as a true political religion.

Vive la France

I am in solidarity with the Gilets Jaunes in France who have protested every Saturday for 66 weeks against their président marionnette américain Emmanuel Macron, either completely ignored or smeared by the American media. The tiny people in France are standing up to the same corporate Goliath. The French have been up against this white Anglo-Saxon Protestant menace before.

I’m not Joan of Arc who was martyred by les néoconservateurs, burnt on the stake wearing a yellow vest of sulfur, not yet. But like her, I can recognize the unique vulnerability we have as humans —the influence of words. And in the passions of war, words become like weapons, they betray. You know that Joan of Arc is a saint, but did you know that she also ended the Hundred Years War and her mythology stands as a testament to the creed that if you don’t stand firm in what you believe, you will fall for anything? Like the wicked hierarchy in the Catholic Church did all those centuries ago. That is how corporations make boatloads of cash money, by encouraging people to ditch their belief systems through psychological manipulation —consumerism, materialism.

Let’s get metaphysical. Materialism is violence. Every man that has ever existed has feared death. That is the tension at the root of all of it. We can either find comfort in that regard through spirituality or materialism. As part of modernism, consumerism exploits the latter and calls it “Western civilization.” Materialism is violence through passive aggression and that is the simplest way to break down the metaphysics. Anglo-Saxon “elites” and the corporations (if they were people) are atheist in nature and play the religions violently against each other in order to destroy them —replacing peace with war, hope with fear, love with hatred, and joy with greed— and corporatize societies.

Yes, Virginia, there is a corporate war on Christianity. Don’t believe me? Look into the epidemic of ancient Catholic church burnings in France —the Notre Dame in Paris was just one of hundreds— and the brutal persecution of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, Serbia, Syria and pretty much everywhere you’ll find authentic Orthodox faithful. Two millennia of a religion are being covertly attacked at war by one century of corporate modernism. The big ticket item is metaphysical freedom, free will, or will to power —degree of control over one’s actions.

In Western philosophy it is argued ad nauseam as secularism, while it is firmly tied to faith in the ascetic religions, usually a deal breaker in accepting modernism. Friedrich Nietzsche together with Darwin and Freud, provided the intellectual foundations for the philosophy of nihilism that is called modernism. Like the theory of evolution, the Western notion of free will is in conflict to with the beliefs central to ascetic religion. This modernism is generally thought to apply to the work of intellectuals who emerged about the time of WWI.

This historical element is very important, as the horror and devastation of this war caused thinkers to question any stable and meaningful, ordered existence. The first characteristic associated with modernism is nihilism, the rejection of all religious and moral principles as the only means of obtaining social progress, compounded by the repudiation of all systems of beliefs, whether in the arts, politics, sciences or philosophy. One of the causes of this iconoclasm is that since WWI our culture has been literally re-inventing and re-refining itself on a daily basis, in order to keep pace with modernity and not appear anachronistic.

Authentically, we Americans today resent the endless violence of military deployments across the globe with no discernible security benefits, feel abandoned by the supposed economic benefits of globalization that haven’t accrued to a majority, and are completely spent —pun intended— on laissez-faire capitalism. In fact, this is how Donald Trump was elected, on a highly publicized platform of common sense foreign policy and old fashioned trade. But instead, under his watch, the U.S. government continues to kick the can of violence they call “liberal democracy” even farther down the road, continuing to ridiculously call out Russia and China as existential threats. We’ve become a parody of ourselves and are own worst threat. Corporate money has now bought the national security state and America’s foreign policy is formally protecting corporations instead of citizens.

Here’s where Bernie Sanders comes in. Underhanded Neoconservatives occupying the Democrat Party despise the Jewish senator because he is authentically set on reversing the corporate dominance in our American government. “Vichy Democrats” which also include the tools who embraced the corporate occupation of FDR’s party represent a hostile corporate takeover just like what is going on in France right now, minus the police brutality and the public esprit de corps.

It’s a fool’s errand to not recognize that the Democrat Party has been divided by corporations, lobbies and cartels that will most benefit from an violent imperialist foreign policy. They’re now aggressively trying to martyr Bernie Sanders’s authentic popularity, any possible way they can. All words are weapons in politics. Bernie Sanders is not a Soviet. He’s against the corporate takeover of the U.S. government. Sanders is not a communist. Sanders is not a socialist in the ideological sense. And Sanders is not a radical in the nihilistic sense.

Bernie Sanders is today an underdog, an old school Democrat in the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, like myself. In politics, words have either been stripped of their meaning or become so contested as to undermine the ability to communicate and analyze. This is no accident. The muddying of meaning is a Machiavellian device to influence perceptions by redefining core concepts. We need to have some tough conversations about the effective sameness between right-wing and left-wing corporatism. The reality is that they are both designed to sell you on the idea that you yourself as an individual have no power, that you are nothing but a powerless consumer.

In my writing, everything has pointed towards corporatism. But what does that mean? Corporatism is neither left nor right. I define it simply as when corporations enforce their political ideology. It is nothing less than passive aggression on an international scale —they call it “political technology” and “perception management”— or psychological manipulation that employs the “intelligence community,” the media, Hollywood, internet technology platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon) and paid “web brigades” to spread corporate lies. Our dreadful situation with the so-called “fake news” media is actually pretty simple when you boil it down.

Before social media, corporate fiction was pretty easily centralized through the news outlets. Now they’ve got to blame the lies on an existential threat like Russia and China. Now corporations and the “intelligence community” must control the internet with surveillance, censorship, coercion, bullying and psychological abuse to stop the hemorrhaging of truthful information.‬

Let’s return to France. A technocrat and former Rothschild banker, Emmanuel Macron rose to power unexpectedly in 2017 when the traditional left and right parties fell apart during the first round of the presidential election, leaving him alone in a face-off with LePen. But in France the real division (like America) is no longer right or left, but rather between the people and an increasingly dominant corporate ruling class. It’s no longer about conservative vs. liberal. It’s about honest nations against American corporations.

The Gilets Jaunes, in fact, represent all of the people, both right and left, a people despised and flouted by the political class, tired of the lies and psychological manipulations of a ruling oligarchy. As in America, President Macron employed Machiavellian tactics using right-wing hooligans to discredit Gilets Jaunes but failed.

The protests against corporatism bring left and right together and reveal that France isn’t only in an economic crisis, but also a political and a spiritual crisis. Yes, a spiritual crisis. France's Yellow Vests movement has as a very diverse base of people who are united in their fight for a dignified life. Because it’s about a unified society standing up to the oligarchy who utilize the media to sow discord to divide us.

Divide and rule

In America, it is no longer about political parties, the corporations occupy all of them. The true battle in politics is between those who deny facts and those who admit they exist. Divisions are prompted by those who seek to gain from them. Via media stays squarely in the middle as is its nature. The Anglican Church came up with it. Remember the WASPS I mentioned in the metaphysical mêlées? Yup, that’s them. It’s an inherent problem. And those who finance the media hope to gain from sowing societal chaos and conflict. 

Nothing divides people quite like the issue of abortion. Roe v. Wade was a 1973 landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. Nearly fifty years later while there has been no formal political action even close to successfully overturning it a percentage of the population votes for those politicians solely who say they are “pro-life.”

While this certainly made sense in the early days after the decision was made, common sense would predicate that the issue not be considered as a primary one, meaning that it is actually on the agenda, but moreover just political hot air. This is an incredibly tough thing to do for some people because it is an emotional issue and politicians have relied not only on those emotions but on the belief systems they tapped into via outreach to churches, synagogues and mosques. It is a bitter pill to swallow when you realize you gave your heart and your mind to an issue and got nothing in return from those Beltway bandits.

Psychological manipulation is profoundly anti-democratic. It exploits the human condition and our Achilles heel that we are prone to making decisions based on emotions. Abortion is certainly an emotional one for a lot of people. Both parties have appealed to people’s emotions. Religious institutions are prime target for politicians. Your religion is your belief system and associated psychological manipulation is like taking candy from a baby. Of course, while it was the right thing to do years ago, now folks who vote solely on the abortion issue are blind partisan in the most dangerous of ways.

Politicians count on your anti-abortion vote because it is an easy one for them to count on. It’s a golden ticket to winning an election. There is no legitimate reason to believe that you can’t vote rationally about all the issues, in general, knowing with confidence that in your hearts and minds you still oppose abortion. Ironically, for those good people, prayer is probably a much better and more effective option here. Put your faith in God, not in politicians. And, folks, if you want to go a step further, look into donating to and volunteering at programs that offer women free services to help change their minds about abortion and support them in giving birth to a child and putting the baby up for adoption.

Stopping legal abortion won’t stop women from seeking it, that has been proven time and time again by history. Perhaps this is our cause celeb, in fact. Psychological manipulation. Because that is what it is and the important issue of abortion works as an analogy for that “political technology,” in general. And the ability to look beyond yourself when evaluating what is best for public policy is what can help you.

There’s rarely a black or white solution. I often reflect on the policies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in this respect. He pioneered the social safety net programs. From scratch. And he did this because he suffered greatly physically and was able to look at public policy as more than just the “crisis” of the day. He saw the Depression as a symptom, not a cause. Importantly, he was all able to cut through the political hot air. When we talk about public policy, and our belief in democracy, our first concern ought to be the need to revitalize U.S. democracy to ensure government reflects the interests of the majority, not just the privileged few.

While I personally disagree with both unrestricted abortion and widespread availability of guns and other weapons, I know most people disagree vehemently with me on both counts (two entirely different sets of people). While I think they are both morally wrong, a majority of the country believes they are their Constitutional right. Therefore, rather than pointing a boney finger of moral condemnation at the “baby killers” and “gun-loving nut jobs,” let’s draw awareness to political implications of not providing viable alternatives to both. We know corporations don’t consider moral and religious principles. They just don’t. And guess what, they bank on that. Therefore, to stand up to them, we’ve got to form a united front, not a divided one.

Speaking again of divisiveness, I made it my policy to refuse to succumb to “Trump derangement syndrome” and regardless of our differences I chose to support the presidency of the U.S., not the insane man himself. I am grateful to President Trump for I received a significant sociological pirate’s booty of unintended benefits from his presidency by closely observing everyone else. While nearly everybody else was blinded by hatred or raptured by revenge, I got a priceless education on how our government has been bought by corporations.

The CIA

My education taught me that throughout the Cold War, the CIA served the interests of the financial elite by artificially inflating estimates of Soviet military strength. When the Cold War ended and the CIA was without an adversary, it quickly turned to corporate espionage via the Five Eyes Anglo-sphere intelligence alliance of America—the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The U.S. government’s illegal dragnet surveillance has even been expanded since the exposure of mass National Security Agency spying by Edward Snowden in 2013.

While the CIA is commonly understood to be an intelligence agency, we shouldn’t forget the important role it has played in carrying out clandestine operations that have benefited the financial elite. But here’s the thing. While the “intelligence community” attempts to operate in a covert and arbitrary manner like the Nazi Gestapo, as we’ve seen, they’re bumbling fools, complete idiots, incapable of achieving real success outside their arrogant tribe.

Interestingly enough, though often depicted in media as ruthlessly efficient jackboots, the actual Nazis were by and large idiot stooges who proved as incapable of administering a government as they were of running a war. 

Bernie Sanders, during his 1974 campaign for the Senate on Vermont’s Liberty Union Party ticket, called the Central Intelligence Agency “a dangerous institution that has got to go.” Sanders complained that the CIA was only accountable to “right-wing lunatics who use it to prop up fascist dictatorships.” If we rail against the corrupting influence of money in U.S. politics —keeping in mind that our own U.S. economy is rigged by special interests so that all of the new wealth is going to the top of America through the corrupt system of campaign finance— we can fix a global problem. Then what we’d perceived as arbitrariness —in the sense of arbitrary will, caprice, abuse of power, absence of legal boundaries— is in no way an existential state, but a situation in which anything can be bought or sold.

In other words, a situation in which everyone has a price. Thus, President Bernie Sanders will shut down the war brokers like the Atlantic Council along with NGOs and groups like USAID and the regime change agencies such as National Endowment for Democracy that only exist and prosper through the destruction of Ukraine (and all their other target counties), far more than that of a peaceful European state Ukraine. President Sanders will bring back FDR’s Four Freedoms —freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear— by eliminating the corporate money that is suppressing them. Corporations have accomplished this by undertaking ventures with the so-called “intelligence community.”

We must get corporate money out of politics. Thus, pass a U.S. Constitutional Amendment that makes clear that money is not speech and corporations are not people, and institute a lifetime lobbying ban for former members of Congress and senior staffers. Sanders campaign promise is implement a foreign policy that reflects the lives of the American people, who do not want endless war. Enable U.S. Congress to reassert its Constitutional authority —remove corporate pressure— to responsibly end the “interventions” and bring U.S. troops home. Let’s make the hostile U.S. corporate takeover of Ukraine the very last one. Kosovo is Ukraine’s bleak future.

Twelve years since independence, many in Kosovo now feel that the country is in limbo, and that its international partners have failed to fulfil their promise to help Kosovo gain its rightful place within the international democratic community. The age old story of how colonizers bust into a country, promise to make the hopes and dreams of its citizens come true, and leave people completely bereft, living in fear. It is what we call “liberal democracy” today. “Elites” sold people a lie they refused to let go of even when it was crystal clear that everybody knew it was a lie.

My professional life reads like a cautionary tale of the evils corporatism. Decades ago when I worked in Africa, it was pretty commonly understood that USAID was a store front for the CIA. And I generally could spot the agents because they lacked the ability to add anything of real value beyond their polished physical presence. They relied on over-annunciated buzzwords and PowerPoint presentations to appear engaged in the work. These frauds ruined the field of international development and then they ruined intentional development finance. Until they were spoiled by the corporate goons, these social movements, in the true spirit of FDR, were inherently quite Christian in nature, compassionate approaches to international cooperation —lending a hand to somebody in need, but teaching them how to fish instead of just providing the fish.

Domestically, I worked at a famous black bank on the Southside of Chicago that was anchored to those social movements through community development finance and fell victim (was targeted) to a corporate takeover when the big banks were “too big to fail” but caused an entire global financial crisis.

In short, American foreign policy has become a heinous albatross around the neck of our country because of corporate psychological manipulation. We’ve got to ditch the tired old idea of an existential enemy (there simply is not one!) and move to a debate about foreign policy to broaden our understanding that it is directly related to military policy and has everything to do with Americans being killed in wars we should never have started. That’s foreign policy. Military spending cuts domestic spending. What foreign policy means is that if we are going to expound the virtues of democracy and justice abroad, and be taken seriously, we need to practice those values here at home, first. Foreign policy is not just tied into military affairs, it is directly connected to economics and must take into account the outrageous wealth inequality that exists in our own country.

This foreign behavior extends from domestic abuses of separation of church and state, and government coercion. The Establishment Clause in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from officially recognizing or preferring one religion over another. Crosscutting are issues related to the Fourth Amendment, privacy and national security. The intelligence agencies both domestically and internationally have violated religious privacy, and the “Four Freedoms.” America is a religiously pluralistic culture guided by a secular government. But among other things, the 9/11 attacks armed malicious actors in the “intelligence community” with the legality to violate both the right to freely exercise religious faith and the associated privacy. 

Since the CIA’s inception in the 1940s, spies have used a religious “cover,” pretending to be clergy. For contrast, consider that in the Soviet Union, the KGB took over the Orthodox Church, and faithful often had worries that clergy were intelligence agents. This was such a concern that people would opt out of going to confession for fear that they might be sharing secrets with covert government officials. Today, the Catholic Church ignores the principle of separation of church and state, and since the Truman administration it has become an arm of U.S. government. 

It is hardly a secret that activities of the CIA go far beyond intelligence gathering of an international nature. The CIA serves as an agency through which covert “assistance” to the Catholic Church is provided by secret American society members acting as Church defenders, like former Vice President Joe Biden. Since 9/11 we have seen, in general, a rise in “political fundamentalism,” which has attempted to replace pluralism in religion in America.

The Church Committee’s reports in 1976 led to momentum in Congress to pass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Under FISA, the NSA would now work with the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to approve surveillance on Americans and foreign nationals. We’ve got to retrace our steps. Revelations in the Church Committee report included the early existence of NSA surveillance programs that dated back to the Truman administration in 1947. Five years later, Truman formally established the official NSA to handle such efforts. 

The Church Committee’s legacy is the attention it gave to U.S. Constitutional issues and the tension between personal freedoms and national security. Today, the issues that were in front of the Committee are ever more critical —the First and Fourth Amendments are under threat. Let’s call for a Congressional investigation of the corrupt and criminal operations of the CIA and the “intelligence community” today along the lines of the Church Committee and Pike Committee investigations of CIA operations in the 1970s. The Church Committee uncovered shocking conduct by numerous agencies, including the FBI, CIA and NSA. But then, exemplifying the “mission creep” that the Church Committee found endemic, our intelligence agencies have not only returned to those practices, they’ve surpassed them.

This planet won’t be secure or peaceful when so few have so much, and so many have so little. We need to look at foreign policy as more than just the “crisis” of the day. When we talk about foreign policy, and our belief in democracy, our first concern is the need to revitalize U.S. democracy to ensure government reflects the interests of the majority, not just the few. Look at our dark history.

In 1973, the U.S. led a coup against the democratically elected president of Chile, resulting in 20 years of authoritarian military rule and the disappearance and torture of thousands of Chileans —and the intensification of anti-Americanism in Latin America. That’s just one of countless bad U.S. foreign policy decisions that have come back to haunt us, dramatically undermining America’s ability to advance global human rights. Instead they empower authoritarian leaders who insist that our support for those rights and values is not serious. 

Oligarchy

The movement toward oligarchy is not just an American issue. It is a global one. Inequality, corruption, oligarchy and authoritarianism are inseparable. They must be understood as part of the same transnational corporate system, and fought in the same way. Here’s where the “intelligence community” comes in again. Surveillance and censorship capabilities harnessed by both the corporations themselves and the U.S. government. Silicon Valley has created a new class of American oligarchs. These oligarchs have not only the money to influence Americans but also control the technology necessary for surveillance of U.S. citizens, manipulate public opinion (and consent for war) and censor free speech. 

What's happened is the ruling elite’s ideology has been exposed as a fraud, a con game and they don't have a counter-argument. We saw the critique of the system embodied in 2016 in the two insurgent candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. And we’re seeing it again in 2020. Although Trump is, of course, an oligarch himself. But in the beginning he spoke very effectively to the reality that has gripped the American working class. Now the blush is off the rose and people are seeing that Trump’s game had been a con as well. We’re at a sea change. But critics of corporatism, like myself, who were already marginalized have been pushed further and further into the outer reaches of the internet by imposing algorithms —Facebook and Twitter have done this— supposedly to combat foreign influence and specifically “Russian influence.” People like Noam Chomsky aged 91, who is probably America's greatest intellectual, are virtually blacklisted. And so all of us who critique imperialism and corportism have been pushed off, even on the supposedly “liberal” networks like MSNBC because elites don’t know what else to do.

Actions not only speak louder than words, they also happen first. Don’t let somebody’s words blind you from their behavior. Anyone can say they are for democratic ideals. But Bernie Sanders is someone who has actually fought for those ideals and has a clear track record. In fact, Sanders could more effectively run on Trump’s failure to fully keep his campaign promises on foreign policy and trade. This “populist” pitch could win over some Trump 2016 voters while at the same time heightening progressive enthusiasm. The political conditions that made Trump’s election possible could do the same for Bernie. 

Last year, Bernie Sanders joined my favorite U.S. Senator no-nonsense Chuck Grassley aged 86 and others to reintroduce the Military Justice Improvement Act. They joined forces on legislation calling for the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of the Department of Defense accounting systems, on the Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault Act to clear the rape kit backlog and the Employ America Act to prohibit major firms that lay off large numbers of American workers from hiring cheaper foreign labor through temporary guest worker programs. That is what government should act like. 

My history with Bernie goes back a long way. His senate record is about as good as it gets. And I always enjoyed listening to him on the radio show called the The Thom Hartmann Program. I don’t recall ever disagreeing with his opinion, which is remarkable, and when I did it was because while I thought some of his ideas for government were excellent, I immediately perceived that they would freak out people who call themselves “conservative” and cause more trouble than offering a solution to a problem. Then, during the 2016 presidential election primaries, I held onto that notion, Madame Clinton rigged the primary, he lost, and the rest is history.

The religious problem

One of the things that seems purposely erased from the history of the Third Reich is that the Nazis despised people of faith. Germany was primarily Christian. In 1933, approximately 45 million Protestant Christians, 22 million Catholic Christians, 500,000 Jews and 25,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses. Religion was a huge part of people’s everyday life and culture in Germany. As with trade unions and other group organisation’s, the Nazis saw religion as a threat to their total power. Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses were the major religious minorities in Germany in the 1930s. Hitler and the Nazis oppressed and persecuted all Jews. Jehovah’s Witnesses faced similar persecution and oppression for their disobedience to the regime.

As the majority religion, the Nazis approached the complex “problem” of Christianity differently. While the Nazis believed that Christianity and Nazism were ideologically incompatible, they weren’t initially openly hostile to the Protestant and Catholic Churches. In his first speech, Hitler acknowledged the role Christianity played in Germany. However, this didn’t last long. Catholics were less in numbers than Protestants, but a hefty 1/3 of the population. Since Catholics had a single, central leader in the Pope, infiltrating and taking control of the religion was extremely difficult, so Hitler opted for a policy of conciliation towards Catholics. 

In 1933, the Nazis signed a Concordat with the Vatican agreeing that the Nazis would not interfere in the Catholic Church. In return, the Vatican would diplomatically recognise the Nazi regime. The Nazis soon broke their Concordat with the Vatican. Catholic schools were gradually shut down. And as the regime intensified its oppressive policies in the late 1930s, members of the Catholic Clergy were killed and imprisoned for opposing the Nazi regime. Since Protestantism was the primary religion in Germany and the Protestant Church was viewed as one of the main pillars of society the Nazis had no choice but to occupy it.

Remember, WASP means white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant. Because there were many different factions of Protestantism in Germany that lacked a single central leader, it was easier for the Nazis to infiltrate than Catholicism. Some Protestants even supported the Nazis during their rise to power and became known as “German Christians.” The Nazis with the support of the German Christians, established the Reich Church under the leadership of Ludwig Müller in 1933, a new national church advocating a form of “Nazi Christianity,” excluding any teaching from the Old Testament, as it was considered a Jewish document. 

Bernie Sanders has said that faith is a major reason for his presidential run and is guided by the principle of the separation of religion and state. His father’s family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust, and the treatment of Jews is fundamental to how Bernie thinks about the world in terms of ensuring that people from every background are treated with dignity, equality and respect.

Bernie knows how dangerous it is historically for governments to enforce religion —Nazi Germany essentially enforced a depraved version of Christianity, weaponized organized religion on a nuclear scale, as a blueprint to exterminate Jews, gays and Slavs. That is the insidious power of the metaphysics of geopolitics. The Nazis gassed Jews in the name of Christ. To deny Hitler’s weaponization of Christianity and its role in World War II, means that you must ignore history and forever bar yourself from understanding the source of German antisemitism and how the WWII atrocities occurred.

War is a racket

The Cold War ended in 1991. The number of U.S. led wars, coups, regimes changes and such between 1992 and 2017 totaled four times as many as those from 1948 to 1991. Four times. After the collapse of the USSR, successive American administrations aggressively sought to pursue a “New World Order.” Take a look at those wars, “interventions” and American “exceptionalism” since the Cold War ended and I think you might agree with me that the so-called “deep state” is corporatism supported by the “intelligence community” operating mainly out of range of the public’s memory. When the CIA recently disclosed comprehensive documents proving our claims that they really did import Nazism to Ukraine, my first thought was Pakistan. Years ago, working in a remote village in the Northern Areas in the country, I heard stories that the CIA created the madras schools to turn children into suicide bombers. The CIA was radicalizing Islam in Pakistan and I got first hand word of it. With age, over time, the lies stack up. There may have been times when the lying might have been harmless. But when you build a political philosophy based on a whole series of such times, you may find that you've constructed an entire philosophy of evil. That is what Nazism was. When the wisdom of age is ridiculed by the young. That was Nazism, too.‬ Three decades ago, the United States had an opportunity to reduce its military presence around the world. But for the last thirty years, the arbitrary Nazi-like rhetoric (words) and covert action of U.S. “exceptionalism” —which is used effectively to obscure the agenda of the corporate and financial elite within the U.S.— has driven America’s foreign policy. In the passions of war, words become like weapons, they betray.

War is corporate racket and the media are part of it. War is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small inside group knows about. It is conducted for the benefit of that very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

We’ve reached the point of diminishing returns with President Donald Trump. Evermore American corporations are taking over the country and trying to carve up the world. The broad western idea that political freedoms under the rule of law bring prosperity and good government is now threatened by corporations. The political commentator Ron Paul recently gave Donald Trump’s Presidency a “C-Minus” Grade. I think that is about right, but I would call it a “D-Plus” Grade.

Bernie is not a saint. He’s just a man. His campaign against corporations is what I hope will strike you as important. Moreover, this has been a plea to you to think for yourself. Don’t let corporations do that for you. And even if Senator Sanders is again locked out of a final run for the U.S. presidency, we’ll know that democracy in America did, in fact, exist for a bit. It’s indeed alive in our hearts and minds.

Epilogue 
 
The day that Princess Diana died in Paris I was in a remote fishing village on the island of Zanzibar on the eastern coast of Africa. Back then, it was, in fact, the middle of nowhere. My German colleague from the clinic and I were making our way back on bicycles from the beach. We were flagged down by an exceedingly distressed-looking elderly Zanzibarian gentleman. He shared with us the news. We wept.

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