Saturday, December 07, 2019

West Point Professor Builds a Case Against the U.S. Army

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, December 7, 2019
West Point Professor Tim Bakken’s new book The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military traces a path of corruption, barbarism, violence, and unaccountability that makes its way from the United States’ military academies (West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs) to the top ranks of the U.S. military and U.S. governmental policy, and from there into a broader U.S. culture that, in turn, supports the subculture of the military and its leaders.
The U.S. Congress and presidents have ceded tremendous power to generals. The State Department and even the U.S. Institute of Peace are subservient to the military. The corporate media and the public help maintain this arrangement with their eagerness to denounce anyone who opposes the generals. Even opposing giving free weapons to Ukraine is now quasi-treasonous.
Within the military, virtually everyone has ceded power to those of higher rank. Disagreeing with them is likely to end your career, a fact that helps explain why so many military officials say what they really think about the current wars just after retiring.
But why does the public go along with out of control militarism? Why are so few speaking out and raising hell against wars that only 16% of the public tell pollsters they support? Well, the Pentagon spent $4.7 billion in 2009, and likely more in each year since, on propaganda and public relations. Sports leagues are paid with public dollars to stage “rituals that are akin to worship,” as Bakken appropriately describes the fly-overs, weapons shows, troop honorings, and war hymn screechings that precede professional athletics events. The peace movement has far superior materials but comes up a little short of $4.7 billion each year for advertising.
Speaking out against war can get you attacked as unpatriotic or “a Russian asset,” which helps explain why environmentalists don’t mention one of the worst polluters, refugee aid groups don’t mention the primary cause of the problem, activists trying to end mass-shootings never mention that the shooters are disproportionately veterans, anti-racist groups avoid noticing the way militarism spreads racism, plans for green new deals or free college or healthcare usually manage not to mention the place where most of the money is now, etc. Overcoming this hurdle is the work being taken on by World BEYOND War.
Bakken describes a culture and a system of rules at West Point that encourage lying, that turn lying into a requirement of loyalty, and make loyalty the highest value. Major General Samuel Koster, to take just one of many examples in this book, lied about his troops slaughtering 500 innocent civilians, and was then rewarded with being made superintendent at West Point. Lying moves a career upward, something Colin Powell, for example, knew and practiced for many years prior to his Destroy-Iraq Farce at the United Nations.
Bakken profiles numerous high-profile military liars — enough to establish them as the norm. Chelsea Manning did not have unique access to information. Thousands of other people simply kept obediently quiet. Keeping quiet, lying when necessary, cronyism, and lawlessness seem to be the principles of U.S. militarism. By lawlessness I mean both that you lose your rights when you join the military (the 1974 Supreme Court case Parker v. Levy effectively placed the military outside the Constitution) and that no institution outside the military can hold the military accountable to any law.
The military is separate from and understands itself to be superior to the civilian world and its laws. High-ranking officials are not just immune from prosecution, they’re immune from criticism. Generals who are never questioned by anyone make speeches at West Point telling young men and women that just by being there as students they are superior and infallible.
Yet, they are quite fallible in reality. West Point pretends to be an exclusive school with high academic standards, but in fact works hard to find students, guarantees spots for and pays for another year of high school for potential athletes, accepts students nominated by Congress Members because their parents “donated” to the Congress Members’ campaigns, and offers a community college-level education only with more hazing, violence, and tamping down of curiosity. West Point takes soldiers and declares them to be professors, which works roughly as well as declaring them to be relief workers or nation builders or peace keepers. The school parks ambulances nearby in preparation for violent rituals. Boxing is a required subject. Women are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted at the three military academies than at other U.S. universities.
“Imagine,” writes Bakken, “any small college in any small town in America where sexual assault is pervasive and the students are running virtual drug cartels while law enforcement agencies are employing methods used to curb the Mafia to try to catch them. There isn’t any such college or large university, but there are three military academies that fit the bill.”
West Point students, who have no Constitutional rights, can have their rooms searched by armed troops and guards at any time, no warrant required. Faculty, staff, and cadets are told to spot missteps by others and “correct” them. The Uniform Code of Military Justice bans speaking “disrespectfully” to superior officers, which creates an appearance of respect that one would anticipate fueling just what Bakken shows it fueling: narcissism, thin skin, and general prima donna or police-like behavior in those relying on it.
Of West Point graduates, 74 percent report being politically “conservative” as compared to 45 percent of all college graduates; and 95 percent say “America is the best country in the world” compared to 77 percent over all. Bakken highlights West Point Professor Pete Kilner as an example of someone who shares and promotes such views. I’ve done public debates with Kilner and found him far from sincere, much less persuasive. He gives the impression of not having spent much time outside of the military bubble, and of expecting praise for that fact.
“One of the reasons for the common dishonesty in the military,” Bakken writes, “is an institutionalized disdain for the public, including civilian command.” Sexual assault is rising, not receding, in the U.S. military. “When Air Force cadets chant,” writes Bakken, “while marching, that they will use a ‘chain saw’ to cut a woman ‘in two’ and keep ‘the bottom half and give the top to you,’ they are expressing their world view.”
“A survey of the top echelon of military leadership indicates widespread criminality,” Bakken writes, before running through such a survey. The military’s approach to sexual crimes by top officers is, as recounted by Bakken, quite fittingly compared by him to the behavior of the Catholic Church.
The sense of immunity and entitlement is not limited to a few individuals, but is institutionalized. A gentleman now in San Diego and known as Fat Leonard hosted dozens of sex parties in Asia for U.S. Navy officers in exchange for supposedly valuable secret information on the Navy’s plans.
If what happens in the military stayed in the military, the problem would be far smaller than it is. In truth, West Point alumni have wreaked havoc on the world. They dominate the top ranks of the U.S. military and have for many, many years. Douglas MacArthur, according to a historian Bakken quotes, “surrounded himself ” with men who “would not disturb the dreamworld of self-worship in which he chose to live.” MacArthur, of course, brought China into the Korean war, tried to turn the war nuclear, was in great part responsible for millions of deaths, and was — in a very rare event — fired.
William Westmoreland, according to a biographer quoted by Bakken, had a “perspective so widely off the mark that it raises fundamental questions of [his] awareness of the context in which the war was being fought.” Westmoreland, of course, committed genocidal slaughter in Vietnam and, like MacArthur, attempted to make the war nuclear.
“Recognizing the staggering depth of MacArthur’s and Westmoreland’s obtuseness,” writes Bakken, “leads to a clearer understanding of the deficiencies in the military and how America can lose wars.”
Bakken describes retired admiral Dennis Blair as bringing a military ethos of speech restriction and retaliation into civilian government in 2009 and generating the new approach of prosecuting whistleblowers under the Espionage Act, prosecuting publishers like Julian Assange, and asking judges to imprison reporters until they reveal their sources. Blair himself has described this as applying the military’s ways to government.
Recruiters lie. Military spokespeople lie. The case made to the public for each war (often made as much by civilian politicians as by the military) is so routinely dishonest that someone wrote a book called War Is A Lie. As Bakken tells it, Watergate and Iran-Contra are examples of corruption driven by military culture. And, of course, in the lists of serious and trivial lies and outrages to be found in military corruption there’s this: those assigned to guard nuclear weapons lie, cheat, get drunk, and fall down — and do so for decades unchecked, thereby risking all life on earth.
Earlier this year, the Secretary of the Navy lied to Congress that over 1,100 U.S. schools were barring military recruiters. A friend and I offered a reward if anyone could identify just one of those schools. Of course, nobody could. So, a Pentagon spokesperson told some new lies to cover up the old one. Not that anybody cared — least of all Congress. None of the Congress Members directly lied to could be brought to the point of saying one word about it; rather, they made sure to keep people who cared about the issue out of hearings at which the Secretary of the Navy was testifying. The Secretary was fired months later, just a couple of weeks ago, for allegedly making a deal with President Trump behind the back of the Secretary of Defense, as the three of them had varying ideas on how to acknowledge or excuse or glorify some particular war crimes.
One way in which violence spreads from the military to U.S. society is through the violence of veterans, who disproportionately make up the list of mass shooters. Just this week, there have been two shootings on U.S. Navy bases in the U.S., both of them by men trained by the U.S. military, one of them a Saudi man training in Florida to fly airplanes (as well as training to prop up the most brutal dictatorship on earth) — all of which seems to highlight the zombie-like repetitive and counterproductive nature of militarism. Bakken cites a study that in 2018 found that Dallas police officers who were veterans were much more likely to fire their guns while on duty, and that nearly a third of all officers involved in a shooting were veterans. In 2017 a West Point student apparently prepared for a mass shooting at West Point that was prevented.
Many have urged us to recognize the evidence and not accept the media presentations of atrocities like My Lai or Abu Ghraib as isolated incidents. Bakken asks us to recognize not just the pervasive pattern but its origins in a culture that models and encourages senseless violence.
Despite working for the U.S. military as a professor at West Point, Bakken outlines the general failure of that military, including the past 75 years of lost wars. Bakken is unusually honest and accurate about casualty counts and about the destructive and counterproductive nature of the senseless one-sided slaughters the U.S. military perpetrates on the world.
Pre-U.S. colonists viewed militaries much as people living near U.S. military bases in foreign countries often view them today: as “nurseries of vice.” By any sensible measure, the same view ought to be common in the United States right now. The U.S. military is probably the least successful institution on its own terms (as well as others’ terms) in U.S. society, certainly the least democratic, one of the most criminal and corrupt, yet consistently and dramatically the most respected in opinion polls. Bakken recounts how this unquestioning adulation creates hubris in the military. It also maintains cowardice in the public when it comes to opposing militarism.
Military “leaders” today are treated as princes. “Four-star generals and admirals today,” Bakken writes, “are flown on jets not just for work but also to ski, vacation, and golf resorts (234 military golf courses) operated by the U.S. military around the world, accompanied by a dozen aides, drivers, security guards, gourmet chefs, and valets to carry their bags.” Bakken wants this ended and believes it works against the ability of the U.S. military to properly do whatever it is he thinks it should do. And Bakken courageously writes these things as a civilian professor at West Point who has won a court case against the military over its retaliation for his whistleblowing.
But Bakken, like most whistleblowers, maintains one foot inside that which he is exposing. Like virtually every U.S. citizen, he suffers from World War II mythologizing, which creates the vague and unargued assumption that war can be done right and properly and victoriously.
Like a huge number of MSNBC and CNN viewers, Bakken suffers from Russiagatism. Check out this remarkable statement from his book: “A few Russian cyber agents did more to destabilize the 2016 presidential election and American democracy than all the weapons of the Cold War put together, and the U.S. military was helpless to stop them. It was stuck in a different mode of thinking, one that worked seventy-five years ago.”
Of course, the wild claims of Russiagate about Trump supposedly collaborating with Russia to try to influence the 2016 election do not even include the claim that such activity actually influenced or “destabilized” the election. But, of course, every Russiagate utterance does push that ridiculous idea implicitly or — as here — explicitly. Meanwhile Cold War militarism determined the outcome of numerous U.S. elections. Then there’s the problem of proposing that the U.S. military come up with schemes to counter Facebook ads. Really? Whom should they bomb? How much? In what way? Bakken is constantly lamenting the lack of intelligence in the officer corps, but what sort of intelligence would concoct the proper forms of mass murder to stop Facebook ads?
Bakken regrets the U.S. military’s failures to take over the world, and the successes of its supposed rivals. But he never gives us an argument for the desirability of global domination. He claims to believe that the intention of U.S. wars is to spread democracy, and then denounces those wars as failures on those terms. He pushes the war propaganda that holds North Korea and Iran to be threats to the United States, and points to their having become such threats as evidence of the U.S. military’s failure. I would have said that getting even its critics to think that way is evidence of the U.S. military’s success — at least in the realm of propaganda.
According to Bakken, wars are badly managed, wars are lost, and incompetent generals devise “no-win” strategies. But never in the course of his book (apart from his World War II problem) does Bakken offer a single example of a war well-managed or won by the United States or anyone else. That the problem is ignorant and unintelligent generals is an easy argument to make, and Bakken offers ample evidence. But he never hints at what it is that intelligent generals would do — unless it is this: quit the war business.
“The officers leading the military today appear not to have the ability to win modern wars,” Bakken writes. But he never describes or defines what a win would look like, what it would consist of. Everybody dead? A colony established? An independent peaceful state left behind to open criminal prosecutions against the United States? A deferential proxy state with democratic pretensions left behind except for the requisite handful of U.S. bases now under construction there?
At one point, Bakken criticizes the choice to wage large military operations in Vietnam “rather than counterinsurgency.” But he does not add even a single sentence explaining what benefits “counterinsurgency” could have brought to Vietnam.
The failures that Bakken recounts as driven by officers’ hubris, dishonesty, and corruption are all wars or escalations of wars. They are all failures in the same direction: too much senseless slaughtering of human beings. Nowhere does he cite even a single catastrophe as having been created by restraint or deference to diplomacy or by excessive use of the rule of law or cooperation or generosity. Nowhere does he point out that a war was too small. Nowhere does he even pull a Rwanda, claiming that a war that didn’t happen should have.
Bakken wants a radical alternative to the past several decades of military conduct but never explains why that alternative should have to include mass murder. What rules out nonviolent alternatives? What rules out scaling back the military until it’s gone? What other institution can fail utterly for generations and have its toughest critics propose reforming it, rather than abolishing it?
Bakken laments the separation and isolation of the military from everyone else, and the supposedly small size of the military. He’s right about the separation problem, and even partly right — I think — about the solution, in that he wants to make the military more like the civilian world, not just make the civilian world more like the military. But he certainly leaves the impression of wanting the latter too: women in the draft, a military that makes up more than just 1 percent of the population. These disastrous ideas are not argued for, and cannot be effectively argued for.
At one point, Bakken seems to understand just how archaic war is, writing, “In ancient times and in agrarian America, where communities were isolated, any outside threat posed a significant danger to an entire group. But today, given its nuclear weapons and vast armaments, as well as an extensive internal policing apparatus, America faces no threat of invasion. Under all indices, war should be far less likely than in the past; in fact, it has become less likely for countries throughout the world, with one exception: the United States.”
I recently spoke to a class of eighth-graders, and I told them that one country possessed the vast majority of foreign military bases on earth. I asked them to name that country. And of course they named the list of countries still lacking a U.S. military base: Iran, North Korea, etc. It took quite a while and some prodding before anyone guessed “the United States.” The United States tells itself it isn’t an empire, even while assuming its imperial stature to be beyond question. Bakken has proposals for what to do, but they do not include shrinking military spending or closing foreign bases or halting weapons sales.
He proposes, first, that wars be fought “only in self-defense.” This, he informs us, would have prevented a number of wars but allowed the war on Afghanistan for “a year or two.” He doesn’t explain that. He doesn’t mention the problem of that war’s illegality. He provides no guide to let us know which attacks on impoverished nations halfway around the globe should count as “self-defense” in the future, nor for how many years they should bear that label, nor of course what the “win” was in Afghanistan after “a year or two.”
Bakken proposes giving much less authority for generals outside of actual combat. Why that exception?
He proposes subjecting the military to the same civilian legal system as everyone else, and abolishing the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Good idea. A crime committed in Pennsylvania would be prosecuted by Pennsylvania. But for crimes committed outside the United States, Bakken has a different attitude. Those places should not prosecute crimes committed in them. The United States should establish courts to handle that. The International Criminal Court is also missing from Bakken’s proposals, despite his account of U.S. sabotage of that court earlier in the book.
Bakken proposes to turn the U.S. military academies into civilian universities. I’d agree if they were focused on peace studies and not controlled by the militarized government of the United States.
Finally, Bakken proposes criminalizing retaliating against free speech in military. For as long as the military exists, I think that’s a good idea — and one that might shorten that length of time (that the military exists) were it not for the probability that it will reduce the risk of nuclear apocalypse (allowing everything in existence to last a bit longer).
But what about civilian control? What about requiring that the Congress or the public vote before wars? What about ending secret agencies and secret wars? What about halting the arming of future enemies for profit? What about imposing the rule of law on the U.S. government, not just on cadets? What about converting from military to peaceful industries?
Well, Bakken’s analysis of what’s wrong with the U.S. military is helpful in getting us toward various proposals whether or not he supports them.
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.
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Green Party says strengthen the Paris Agreement, shut down NATO

From the Green Party:

The Green Party of the United States today called for NATO to be shut down and for an expansion of measures in the Paris Climate Agreement in light of the deepening global crisis. The NATO summit and 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) are both taking place this week.

Dismantling NATO and redirecting military spending towards a Green New Deal would result both in honoring the US's pledge not to expand NATO and help to drastically reduce the U.S. military's carbon footprint, said Green Party leaders.

Green Party of the United States

For Immediate Release:
December 6, 2019
Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager | | 202-804-2758
Holly Hart, Co-chair, Media Committee | | 202-804-2758
Craig Seeman, Co-chair, Media Committee | | 202-804-2758

Greens noted that the 2015 Paris Climate Treaty is inadequate to address the climate change crisis. 195 nations pledged to reduce greenhouse gases. However, the pledges are not mandatory, the treaty does not require a phase-out of fossil fuels, and it delays higher aid levels for poorer nations until 2025.

"What is the point of trusting the governments who sign up to this agreement with one hand while investing ever more in fossil fuel extraction, combustion and consumption with the other? The Green Party's platform demands legally binding commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2020 and a 95% reduction by 2030 over 1990 levels," said Tina Rockett, delegate from Virginia to the Green National Committee.

"We need to slash carbon emissions to avoid the threat to end civilization as we know it," said Mark Dunlea, the Green Party of New York’s 2018 candidate for State Comptroller who ran on divesting that state’s $210 billion pension fund from fossil fuels. "We need an immediate halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure in addition to phasing out existing uses."

The United Nations International Law Commission, citing the effects of war on climate change, adopted 28 draft legal principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts (PERAC) in August, with the final version to be adopted in 2021.

This is especially critical as U.S. Armed Forces, with more than 800 bases in over 70 countries, is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world, with a larger carbon footprint than many industrialized nations.

In response to U. S. objections to PERAC's "remnants of war" framing, which covers obligations to address the "toxic and hazardous" effects of armed conflict, the Green Party called for the U.S. to sign the Toronto treaty banning the production, stockpiling, use, and sale of land mines, and assist other nations in unearthing and disabling mines buried in their lands; and also sign the convention that will establish the decrease and inspection of all nations' stockpiles of such weapons, which the U.S. abandoned.

"Why should NATO still exist in 2019? Its purpose ended in 1990 with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Since then, NATO has continued to expand into the former east bloc countries, despite this country’s pledge not to do so," said Trahern Crews, co-chair of the Green Party of the U.S.

In light of recent reports showing that the world might already be beyond the climate-change tipping point, the Green Party has called for a WWII-scale national and international mobilization to halt climate change, the greatest threat facing the planet today.

The Green Party's Green New Deal aims to revive the U.S. economy by creating millions of jobs with a transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 and investments in public transit, sustainable agriculture, conservation and restoration of critical infrastructure, including ecosystems.

The plan also calls for a Just Transition that would empower and support communities and workers most impacted by climate change and the transition to a peace economy.

For More Information

Report: 2019’s UN General Assembly debate on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts
Conflict and Environment Observatory, Dec. 2019
Law Protecting Environment from War to Get Huge Boost this Year
Weir, Doug; egoldinghrc. Humanitarian Disarmament, Jul. 2, 2019
Warsaw Pact is Gone, Why Does NATO Exist?
Gibbs, David. Institute for Public Accuracy, Dec. 2, 2019
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Swanson, David. World Beyond War, Jan. 1`5, 2018
Report: The U.S. Military Emits More CO2 Than Many Industrialized Nations
McCarthy, Niall. Forbes, Jun. 13, 2019
Report: The U.S. Military Is Creating a Carbon Pollution Bootprint
Grossman, David. Popular Mechanics, Jun. 26, 2019
Paris Agreement targets need to be 5 times stronger to actually work
Teirstein, Zoya. Grist, Nov. 26, 2919
Study: U.S. Fossil Fuel Subsidies Exceed Pentagon Spending
Dickinson, Tim. Rolling Stone, May 8, 2019
Climate emergency: world 'may have crossed tipping points’
Carrigton, Damian. The Guardian, Nov. 27, 2019
Learn more about the Green Party’s Green New Deal
Green Party Platform on Foreign Policy and Military
Green Party Platform on Climate Change

Newsroom | Twitter
Green New Deal
Green candidate database and campaign information
Ballot Access
Facebook page
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
Green Papers
~ END ~
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Material is provided, free of charge, for use in objective and balanced content, even if at times the end products may be critical of NATO.
In instances where a member country is criticized, NATO wishes it to be made known that it does not associate itself with the contents of the article, publication or broadcast.

Some Tweets from Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson is seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

  • Come hear me speak tonight in Salt Lake City at 6 PM at the capitol!
  • Join me tomorrow for at 5:30pm PT / 7:30pm CT / 8:30pm ET! We'll be live on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and at . Post your questions with or send them to
  • My uncle Max Kaplan was a Navy man, his ship bombed at Pearl Harbor 12/7/41. Spent 27 hrs in water before being rescued, received a Purple Heart. Today I remember him &those like him, including my dad & the rest of my uncles, who responded so bravely to an attack on our country.
  • My experience of the American people is that in our personal lives we don’t like to feel we’re being played. But collectively we need the same savvy, the same psychological sophistication. An entire political/corporate system is having its way with us; only the people can fix it.
  • It’s not just that a corporate aristocracy has gained power. The issue is how it happened & what we have to do now:1)they legally bribe politicians (we need $ out of politics). 2)they own mainstream media (we need to break that up). Till then of COURSE they protect Big Pharma etc
  • The question should not be “Why is a presidential candidate suggesting greater regulatory oversight of Big Pharma?” The question should be, “Why isn’t every presidential candidate suggesting greater regulatory oversight of Big Pharma?”
  • Given the way the FDA was clearly looking the other way when Big Pharma predatory practices led to the opioid crisis (attys-Gens all over the States now indicting), there is no reason to assume their relationship is as pure as snow in every other area.
  • American society is currently on a slow & steadily quickening slide toward fascism. That is not a negative comment; it’s a descriptive one. What’s negative is to ignore it. Nothing in our history’s more important than the election next year. Complacency & cynicism not an option.
  • As a mother I’m heartbroken; as an American I’m infuriated. I cannot and will not accept such heartlessness on the part of a US govt. agency. Someone should be prosecuted here for criminal neglect.
  • Mandatory minimum sentencing has taken power away from judges, imposing sentences without chance of judicial discretion. It has added to mass incarceration and racial disparities in convictions. It is brutal, unjust - and needs to stop.
  • Deepak Chopra + Marianne Williamson LIVE in New York. December 16 ~ 7:30PM. One Night Only. Livestream Available. Details Here:
  • When corporate interests are untethered to ethical, moral considerations and inadequately regulated, the most deadly consequences can result. Big Pharma’s season of predatory overreach must come to an end.
  • Democratic Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson in Nashua, NH
  • “Polenta elbow is a real thing and Marianne Williamson is the only candidate with the guts to talk about!” Lol
  • Heard again today say that “the economy is good.”When 93 million Americans are near poverty, the economy is not “good.” When 13 million children are hungry, the economy is not “good.” When 100,000 children are homeless, the economy is not “good.” Good for but a few is not “good.”
  • Trauma perpetrated against a child more likely to result in violence perpetrated by adult she becomes. Many of our public policies cause trauma. Poverty traumatic. Homelessness traumatic. Despair traumatic. We won’t have a peaceful society as long as we’re traumatizing children.
  • 21st-century mindset is very different than the 20th. Far more integrative, with a realization that there are internal as well as external dimensions to transforming any situation. Psychological & emotional realities affect social political behavior both negatively & positively.
  • Germany’s full mea culpa for the Holocaust is a model for the deepening we need in the U.S. regarding the history of slavery. Merkel connects Germany’s history to the fight against anti-Semitism today, as we need to connect our history of slavery to the need to fight racism today
  • Angela Merkel demonstrates how a responsible nation reconciles with its history. As we should do with ours.
  • What will it take to wage peace? It will take outer work and it will also take inner work. It will take regulating our guns and it will also take regulating our hearts.
  • Second shooting, now in Pensacola. May the angels of our better nature rise up and declare “No more.” Let’s do whatever it takes, in our hearts and in our world, to wage peace among us and cast out violence from our midst.
  • So deeply saddened by the tragic shooting at joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Praying for the victims, their families, and all those connected to the base. May we use this incident to reflect more deeply on what it will take to make us a more peaceful society...and then act on it.
  • “That’s what makes New Hampshire unique. We take picking the next president very seriously.”
  • Trump didn’t create America’s underlying problems; our underlying problems created him. Just defeating him in ‘20 will treat the symptom but not the cause. As long as we allow economics rather than our deep humanity to guide us, someone like him will always be lurking at the door
  • “If they give it to the rich they call it a subsidy, if they give it to the poor they call it a hand-out.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Reversing climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our generation, and we can do it.
  • The Trump administration now cutting food stamps for the poorest of the poor, after having passed a $2T tax cut for the richest of the rich. Is this what we have become as a country? We cannot be great if we are not good.
  • “This country and this government should belong to its people.”
  • On my way back to Iowa next week, hope you'll join me...
  • This country will change when the people wake up, look at some things that are happening and say en masse, “That stops right now.”
  • The road ahead can be the most extraordinary chapter in American history, but only if we’re willing to take a brutally honest look at ourselves. There are things as a nation we must be willing to look at, atone for, make amends for & change. Anything less, and nothing will change
  • We don’t have universal healthcare yet because there are more corporate profits to be made from sickness than from health, and we don’t have an agenda for peace because there are more corporate profits to be made preparing for war than preparing for peace
  • Thanks to known as well as unsung heroes of the environmental movement, the U.S. is now reaching a consensus that immediate, emergency-basis action is called for to reverse climate change. The next president should boldly ride the wave.
  • The only force stronger than politicized hate is the power of politicized love.
  • Environmental crisis not just political or biological; it’s a moral crisis. Its root was the replacement of an ancient sense of humanity’s partnership with nature, with the idea that nature is here for humanity’s utilitarian purposes. It’s inaccurate, immoral, dangerous & insane.
  • For every action there’s a reaction - an unalterable law of physics as applicable to behavior as well as to objects. Also, to collective as well as to individual behavior. Deeply irresponsible for a generation to behave in ways that will produce dangerous effects for a later one.
  • The very idea of “farming” animals is something deeply disconnected from right relationship between humanity & nature. We are here to be proper stewards of both animals & land & we are massively failing at both. Nature will reassert right balance if we do not.
  • Animal factory farms are cruel toward animals & dangerous for people. Antibiotics used to artificially fatten animals gets into food & water, creating drug resistant bacteria with dire consequences we’re just beginning to experience. As president I would end animal factory farms.
  • Wherever there are large groups of desperate people, societal dysfunction is almost inevitable. Desperate people do desperate things. That’s why ameliorating unnecessary human suffering should be the highest governmental priority. Loving each other isn’t just good; it’s strategy.
  • Money doesn’t come from crumbs in the form of job creation dropped from the table of corporate aristocrats; money comes from the creativity and productivity of the American people. Anything that contributes to the ability of people to thrive is the source of peace and prosperity.
  • Political elites don’t want us to look too deeply into the root cause of most of our problems because they ARE the root cause of most of our problems. Outside-the-box is a good thing when the box is filled with hot air.
  • As long as there are so many contaminants in water, carcinogens in food, toxins in air & economic policies causing so much chronic stress, we WILL have higher rates of sickness.We need govt to do more than provide healthcare; we need it to challenge forces that are making us sick
  • Agree.