Jun 27, 2016

Crisis: Trump and The Greens, Democratic Leaders, ME & vitamins, Jefferson Airplane
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Donald Trump Frees Us to Vote as We Wish
Betraying Progressives, Democratic Platform Panel
     Backs Fracking, TPP and Israel Occupation

Update about my vitamins
4. Jefferson Airplane and Revolution (46 years ago)


This is a Nederlog of Monday, June 27, 2016.

This is another partial crisis log, where the "partial" is motivated by the fact that half is about the crisis and half isn't. There are 4 items with 3 dotted links: Item 1 is about the Green Party's present take on Trump, and I think basically they are too early (Trump hasn't been defeated yet, and a lot can happen between now and November); item 2 is about the real policies of the Democrats: Everything proposed by Sanders was voted down, and basically the Democratic Party's leadership supports their Corporate donors, who support the Democratic Party's leadership; item 3 is my monthly update about vitamins, and doesn't bring much news; while item 4 goes back to my youth (46 years ago, in 1970, when I was almost 20) and takes up a video by Jefferson Airplane, that starts with two of the most radical songs I know from the Sixties. It really was radical, and it also shows how things were rather different then from what they are now. (Also, it's a bit of personal sentiment.)

Donald Trump Frees Us to Vote as We Wish

The first item today is by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese on Truthdig:

I should start this by saying Flowers and Zeese are Green Party supporters. I don't think that is bad, but it does, to an extent at least, explain the position they take in this article.

I'll quote three brief bits. The first is this:

Here’s the truth—and the Brexit vote result will not change it: Trump is not building campaign infrastructure, has very little funding and minimal staff, and is the most unpopular nominee in history. The Electoral College map is so weighted toward Democrats that he cannot overcome it.
In fact, this is followed by a list of seven points supporting this, which I skip because it is too long, but which comes down to the thesis that Trump's campaign is very minor, with 1/10th of the staff and with much less (ready) money than Clinton has.

I do not know how important this is in June, where we are now, but I take it that the facts listed are correct.

Here is some more on the American voters:

The key poll finding is that 55 percent of voters say they could never support Trump. Even worse are his negatives with specific groups. An ABC News poll found nearly unanimous negative views among blacks, with 94 percent seeing him negatively; 89 percent of Hispanics agree. Among whites, 59 percent view him negatively. Among women, Trump has a sky-high negative rating of 77 percent, and among voters under 50, 76 percent view him negatively.
I agree that if this is more or less the same in November, Trump will certainly loose the presidential elections (if he runs, which is not quite certain yet). But that is a pretty big if, in my opinion.

And there is this:
Now that Sanders has made it clear he will not be running independent or Green, Movement for Bernie urges people to leave the Democrats and vote for Stein. Sawant says that the “movement should back Jill Stein as the strongest left alternative in the presidential election. ...”
Indeed, the article also says that nationally speaking Jill Stein now pulls 7% of the vote. That is 20 times as much as she pulled in the last presidential election, but again I say it is early day.

The article ends as follows:
This year, people are free to vote for what they want, not what they fear.
No, I don't really think so, although I do not have much against Jill Stein. My reasons are above: It is much too early to be this confident, in my opinion.

2. Betraying Progressives, Democratic Platform Panel Backs Fracking, TPP and Israel Occupation

The second item is by Lauren McCauley on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows, and shows you what the Democratic Party('s leadership) is really about, which is not at all where Sanders is:

Despite its claims to want to unify voters ahead of November’s election, the Democratic party appears to be pushing for an agenda that critics say ignores basic progressive policies, “staying true” to their Corporate donors above all else.

During a 9-hour meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on Friday, members of the DNC’s platform drafting committee voted down a number of measures proposed by Bernie Sanders surrogates that would have come out against the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), fracking, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. At the same time, proposals to support a carbon tax, Single Payer healthcare, and a $15 minimum wage tied to inflation were also disregarded.

In brief, virtually everything Bernie Sanders campaigned for - as a Democrat - was neglected, denied or voted done by the Democratic leaders.

Here is some more:

“Inexplicable” was how Sanders described the move, adding: “It is hard for me to understand why Secretary Clinton’s delegates won’t stand behind Secretary Clinton’s positions in the party’s platform.”

The panel also rejected amendments suggested by co-founder Bill McKibben, another Sanders pick, that would have imposed a carbon tax, declared a national moratorium on fracking as well as new fossil fuel drilling leases on federal lands and waters.

I can explain this very well (as I suspect Sanders can):

Clinton's position on getting elected is that she will say anything (within broad limits) that she thinks will increase her chances of being elected, quite irrespective of her real plans and her real preferences. And her real plans and preferences are indeed much more like the leadership than she will be saying until she has been elected.

Finally, there is this about the Israel-Palestine conflict:

According to AP, the final discussion “centered on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”

“The committee defeated an amendment by Sanders supporter James Zogby that would have called for providing Palestinians with ‘an end to occupation and illegal settlements’ and urged an international effort to rebuild Gaza,” AP reports, measures which Zogby said Sanders helped craft. 

Instead, AP reports, the adopted draft “advocates working toward a ‘two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict’ that guarantees Israel’s security with recognized borders ‘and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity.’”

So this is yet another proposal by Sanders that was voted down by the Democratic leadership.

In brief, this initial statement
the Democratic party appears to be pushing for an agenda that critics say ignores basic progressive policies, “staying true” to their Corporate donors above all else
seems quite true. ("Follow The Money!" (Not the voters.)).

This is a recommended article.

3. Update about my vitamins

The third item is an update about the vitamins I take. The last one is from little over a month ago and is here.

This continues that last monthly update about vitamins and ME. This is what I have been taking the last month:
vitamin C: 3 grams
This is 2 grams less. No difference I could feel.
Potassium: 2 pills a day
This gives 400 mg a day. (Same.)
Folic acid: 1 pills a day.
This gives 5000 mcg. (Same)
Magnesium: 1 pill a day.
This gives the daily required amount, together with VM-75
and the next item.

Calcium+Magnesium+Zinc: 1 pill a day
Both the previous and the present pill require more than
one pil to get the full daily dosage, but see VM-75 below.

Vit mB12 5000 mcg: 1 pill a day. (Same.)
vit mB12 1000 mcg: 1 pill a day. (Same.)
VM-75: 1 pill a day (since April) which includes i.a.
   Calcium - 35 mg
   B1 - 35 mg
   B2 - 40 mg
   B3 - 35 mg
   B5 - 35 mg
   B6 - 35 mg
   B12 -35 mcg (cyanocobalamine)
   E - 50 mg (75 IE)
   Many minerals and some herbs that I do not list
   (including magnesium and zinc).
That is about all I am giving today, because it was almost the same as last month. (Maybe my condition was a bit less last month, but I also had to do more.)

Jefferson Airplane and Revolution (46 years ago)

This last link of today is a link to my youth:
I was born in 1950 and my teens were the Sixties, in Amsterdam, where I was born and lived nearly all of my life. Having lived through it, I can assure you that these were pretty radical times, and especially from 1966-1969.

The video takes slightly over 33 minutes and is - apart from the conversation by Balin [1] - a good introduction to Jefferson Airplane (<- Wikipedia) (as they were from 1966-1970).

It starts with two numbers joined as one, namely "We can be together" and "Volunteers", that is also edited with videos in several windows (we should say now), namely 2 to 4, with Jefferson Airplane in the beginning, and bits from
"the alternative society" in the end. (I like it.)

Here is a bit of the text (corrected by me, although I am not quite certain):
We can be together
Ah you and me
We should be together
We are all outlaws in the eyes of America
In order to survive we steal cheat lie forge fuck hide and deal

We should be together
All your private property is
Target for your enemy
And your enemy is
We are forces of chaos and anarchy
Everything they say we are we are
And we are very
Proud of ourselves
Up against the wall
Up against the wall motherfucker
This is radical (especially: "All your private property is/Target for your enemy" etc.) There are other, more radical texts from the 1960ies (for example, by Frank Zappa) but the whole song, especially in this videoed presentation, is much like a call for a revolution.

And indeed the above shifts to "Volunteers (of America)", as if it were part of the previous song, which has this text (in part):

Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Hey I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Ain't it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution
Got to revolution
Together, these two songs, presented as one, take 9 minutes 20 seconds. I like them and I also like the 9 minutes and 20 seconds of video that accompany the songs.

Then again, I should add that by 1970, when I first heard these songs (that were from 1969), I thought that they were either too late with their call for a revolution or that they were being commercial.

That Jefferson Airplane were commercial was clear from 1967, at the latest, for they asked and earned a lot of money (much of which went again on many kinds of dope, it seems), but this does not contradict that they were also radical, and certainly not in the late Sixties.

That they were too late
with their call for a revolution also seemed clear to me in 1970. It turns out I was right, but it might have happened differently.

In any case - which is also one of the reasons I put this up today - I have lived through what looked like revolutionary times (from 1966 till 1969), but these mostly failed, in part thanks to the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. I have also been part of what looked like a revolution, in Paris, in May/June 1968, that completely failed, in part thanks to the refusal to cooperate with the students from the French communists, and I have not seen anything like it since (though I grant Occupy may have inspired feelings like this, at least in the USA, where I do not live).

And this is what these experiences taught me:

First, both were different from ordinary times. It is difficult to explain this, because it is mostly due to another mood, but it was definitely there, especially in Paris in the early days of May 1968 (and no, I am not by far the only one who says so, and who has been there then).

I have only met that mood between 1966 and 1969 in a general and weaker form, and in 1968 in Paris in a specific and stronger form, and not since then.
(This doesn't mean there was none of it, but it certainly didn't reach me.)

And second, if people talk about "a revolution", "radical and rapid social change" etc. all I have to make sense of this are my experiences, which presently include 66 years and extremely much reading about many different topics, including politics, and I must say that if a real revolution does require
another kind of mood in many people [2], I have not seen anything like the conditions for a sudden and radical social change outside the second half of
The Sixties.

I am sorry, but that is the case.
[1] I did not like Balin's conversation in the video, that very probably also dates from 1970. And I think part of the reason is that Balin - who co-wrote both songs that follow - and who conversationally says he is tired of talk about that (the revolution), and that he as other ideals, such as ... to live, had by 1970 discovered that revolutionary times were over, and tried to present himself as a more or less ordinary man.

[2] I think it does, at least in quite a few social revolutions,  though quite possibly not in all. In any case, the mood is made up from a combination of
feelings of enthusiasm, freedom, possibility, interest, happiness, and well-being, and seems in part to consist in people's leaving aside the ordinary constraints on expressing themselves freely to others.

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