Senate Panel Puts Spotlight on Older Americans

WASHINGTON, June 19 – The Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging held a hearing today on how Older Americans Act programs like Meals on Wheels reduce hunger and poverty among seniors and save money on more expensive nursing home and hospital care.

“These programs not only work to ease isolation, hunger and suffering, they also save taxpayers substantial sums of money,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the subcommittee chairman. “The simple truth is that we can feed a senior for an entire year for the cost of one day in a hospital.”

Sanders is the chief sponsor of legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the 1965 landmark law that he called “one of the most effective programs ever devised” to address the needs of vulnerable seniors.

The Melting Pot Revisited

I remember hearing the term, “melting pot” used to describe America. That was back in the ’60s. 

The idea was that America takes all sorts of disparate human parts from  Europe, Africa, and Asia, and melts them down into an ingot called an American.  All traces of your old self were to disappear as you took on the new identity.

That was the theory. Of course, America was “whiter” back then.

Now, depending on who you listen to  America either soon will, or already has passed the point where European Americans are the majority.

Rep Alan Grayson (D – FL) on US Surveillance

I got to watch a fair amount of CSPAN last week as I recovered from a flu. One of the more interesting moments came late in the week, after most of the work for the week was through and members could use their time to talk about anything they wanted.

Rep. Grayson, a lawyer and a former phone company president, decided to spend about a half an hour talking about PRISM, phone records, metadata, and government spying on US citizens. It’s a pretty good overview of the known programs, and he offers up some good points of further inquiry.

Sanders Proposes Limits on Surveillance

WASHINGTON, June 14 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced legislation to put strict limits on sweeping powers used by the National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation to secretly track telephone calls by millions of innocent Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

“We must give our intelligence and law enforcement agencies all of the tools that they need to combat terrorism but we must do so in a way that protects our freedom and respects the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches,” Sanders said.

Why You Should Still Write To Your Congressmen (Even If You Think They Agree With You)

Lots of people seem to be upset with various aspects of American life, from education and healthcare to the economy and domestic surveillance.  Mostly we gripe about it and that’s it.  But there’s one simple thing we can all do that will actually help (more than doing nothing) and that is to write to your congressmen about it.  It may be true that no one is addressing your concerns, but you’ll have a better argument if you’ve at least told people about it.  More importantly, there are starting to be problems where it’s a bit like “speak now or forever hold your peace.” Or maybe, “now or never.” 

You Are Suspicious – Domestic Surveillance of Americans

Many people suspected it, but now it is known for certain. The US government is spying on Americans, collecting vast amounts of electronic information to sort and store, and has been doing so for the last seven years.

have the stories, and more reports are said to be on the way. 

Edward Snowden was working at a high level for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and was able to see how the various spying systems scoop up emails, phone records, locations, durations, chats, and almost anything you do online. This information is combined with other available information to create profiles of each of us. Snowden has documentation to prove it, and shared it with Greenwald.

Nuremberg Principles Trial of Americans When? Multiple Choice Question for Antiwar Journalists

Blaming policy, politicians, media, corporations, but never holding America, Americans, responsible as MLKjr did, antiwar journalists expose mass-homicide for thievery by Americans in dozens of poor nations beginning with America’s bloody overthrow of democratic governments in Greece, Guatemala, Congo, Korea, Vietnam and Laos thru today’s crimes in Syria  Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya, and murderously occupied Afghanistan,

Preface to the Survey Question:

An Explanation Of Why It Is Put Principally To Antiwar Writers And Investigative Journalists:

Discipline and Boundaries

I read a short report in today’s Brattleboro Reformer about an “assaultive student” at the Austine School who was cited into court for simple assault and disorderly conduct. It’s the second one in recent memory. A previous report sounded much more threatening, and was more detailed, but either way, there’s something that doesn’t sit well with me in reading about police being called for student discipline. As with so many other things, it’s not the way it used to be when I was a kid.

The Brattleboro Retreat, although not recently, has also relied on the police to take authority over unruly or combative youth and there have been past incidents where those youthful patients were tasered into compliance.

Welch Denounces Seizure of Phone Records

Washington, DC. (June 6th, 2013)- After recent reports that the government has been seizing millions of telephone records of US citizens from service providers, Rep. Welch made the following remarks:

“I cannot fathom a reason for the federal government to cast such a wide and indiscriminate net in the name of national security. This confirms the worst fears of those of us who oppose the Patriot Act.

Sanders Slams Secret Surveillance

WASHINGTON, June 6 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today criticized a secret domestic surveillance program that swept up millions of telephone records on calls by Americans who were not suspected of any wrongdoing.

A court order demanding the records be turned over was obtained under a controversial interpretation of a provision in the so-called Patriot Act, which Sanders voted against when it was first enacted in 2001 and when it was reauthorized in 2006 and 2011.

“As one of the few members of Congress who consistently voted against the Patriot Act, I expressed concern at the time of passage that it gave the government far too much power to spy on innocent United State citizens and provided for very little oversight or disclosure. Unfortunately, what I said turned out to be exactly true.

Fear of Speaking Out

Fear of Speaking Freely

Being afraid to speak, is a Civil Rights issue. Students, Teachers, Journalists and the Public should have the freedom to speak freely and to assemble, yet they do not.

Students and citizens need to know, to see and hear alternatives to mainstream media and decide for themselves what is fact and what is fiction. Important issues of fact are being intentionally omitted; key items of history are being rewritten and replaced with contrived innuendo. Few who are normally relied upon for investigation or debate, dare to stand up to these forces.

Sanders: Immigration Bill Needs Improvement, Vermont Senator Faults Provisions on Guest Workers

WASHINGTON, June 4 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today congratulated the Senate Judiciary Committee for drafting an immigration reform bill that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the United States and help their children become citizens.

He also supported provisions in the measure that would strengthen border enforcement, prevent unscrupulous employers from hiring illegal workers and give legal status to foreign workers needed to keep Vermont’s dairy farms and apple orchards in business.

Sanders, however, expressed strong concern that large American corporations in the midst of very high unemployment were using immigration reform to lower wages and benefits for American workers.

Obama War Criminal? What About Investors, CNN, Clergy, Soldiers, You & I?

Obama War Criminal? What About Investors, CNN, Clergy, Soldiers, You & I? by jay janson

David Swanson, of War Is A, although endorsing, along with almost every serious antiwar journalist and organization, the King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign, wrote recently: US Presidents Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes and Military Aggressions” Readers in nations bombed, invaded and murderously occupied by America and Americans will sense or suspect a ‘fall guy’ trick to absolve everyone else

The Winner of The Iraq War? China.

Here’s a headline from today’s New York Times:

“China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraqi Oil Boom”.


So the USA topples Saddam and China gets the oil. Pat yourself on the back if you saw that coming in 2003.

I think back to the run up to this war when officials from the Bush administration were spreading manure (synonym for a pithier word) about the war not costing America anything because the oil would pay for it. I think one man went so far as to say (when told that some in Washington were suggesting that the war would cost at least $22 billion) that that was reckless and irresponsible, treasonous, even. That at most the war would cost $2 billion and was more likely to see a profit.

I Had A Dream!

It was 2016, and I had been moved into a nursing home. My deaf room-mate had Alzheimer’s, and he insisted on watching TV whenever he was awake, which seemed like always. His favorite show was Fox News, so it was easy for me to keep on top of things in the “real” world.

As I mentioned, it was 2016, and the presidential campaigns were in full swing. The Dems had nominated Hilary Clinton, and in a surprise move, offered the VP slot to a newly minted Democrat, Chris Christie, Gov. of New Jersey. The Repubs chose Jeb Bush, and in a strategy to capture the Hispanic vote, selected Sen.Ted Cruz of Texas (dubbed the “Cruz Missile” by Geraldo Rivera).

Sanders Statement on Social Security Trust Fund Report

BURLIGTON, Vt., May 31 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a Senate Budget Committee member and founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus, issued the following statement after Social Security trustees today released their annual report on the retirement system’s finances:

“The report from the Social Security trustees confirms what many of us have known, that Social Security is not ‘going broke,’ that it can pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 20 years and that after 2033 there is enough in reserve to pay three-quarters of future benefits.

Noan Chomsky on the 21st Century

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, political critic and activist. He is an institute professor and professor emeritus in the department of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. History educator Daniel Falcone spoke with Chomsky in his Cambridge office on May 14.

He has some interesting, iconoclastic ideas on a lot of things. Here are a few excerpts from this interview.

Sanders On Memorial Day

BURLINGTON, Vt., May 26 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement today in honor of Memorial Day:

“Memorial Day must not simply be a day for picnics and ballgames. It is a time to remember and cherish the lives of service members who have died in defense of this nation and appreciate the unimaginable loss their families have experienced. But Memorial Day is not just a time to reflect upon the past. It’s important that we also focus on the present and dedicate ourselves to do all that we can to protect the interests of today’s veterans – many of whom came home from war wounded in body and in spirit.

Good Americans Mourn First the Millions America Slaughtered, Then Mourn US Soldiers

This veteran is waiting for the year in which the Veterans For Peace, in its Memorial Day Press Release, states that Veterans mourn first, the lives America took in poor countries, both the civilian men, women and children and the patriots that fought our illegal and criminal invasions since 1945. Only then should come bitterly mourning GIs who were duped by our elected officials and the CIA and Pentagon fed, corporate-controlled war-promoting media cartel fooling them with lies, misinformation, disinformation and psyop techniques that deceived them into proudly following homicidal criminal orders.  Orders given, as Martin Luther King Jr. cried out, “for atrocity wars and covert homicide meant to maintain unjust predatory investments overseas.”
[see Beyond Vietnam – a Time to Break Silence sermon]