How to live under autocratic rule

A must-read from Masha Gessen on how to live under autocratic rule

For a decade now, Masha has consistently been one of my favorite reporters and thinkers. From the time of her return to Russia from the US after the wall fell, she fearlessly reported on what her birth country was turning into under Vladimir Putin, even as free media outlets were being shut down. She continued, even as other reporters were being murdered and “disappeared”, until she became so worried about the situation for LGBTQ Russians that she consulted a lawyer about how to ensure that her own teenage son wouldn’t be taken away from her simply for her being lesbian, and his answer was, “you have American citizenship; your answer is at the airport”. She left.

She’s just an extremely cool person with principles and intelligence, and I’m an unabashed Masha fanboy. (She also writes the dialog for the Russian actors in The Americans, which is awesome.)

She now sees what’s happening in this country, which is also her country, and her insight and experience is something we all need to pay attention to.

Today, President-elect Trump, in his first day of official transition business, did at least four things that were unprecedented for a president-elect:

1. He did not allow a press corps to follow and report on him (all footage we’ve seen today of him came from reporters invited by the White House, Speaker Ryan, or the Congressional press corps).

2. His spokespeople lied to the press pool about where he’d be spending the night and he gave them the slip for several hours until he showed up at Trump Tower—causing for the first time in 40 years a situation where the American people did not know where their president and president-elect was (even if “the American people” was notionally represented only by a small “tight pool” sworn to secrecy for national security reasons).

3. He tweeted. He has his phone back, ironically on the very day that he gained unlimited security clearance and was politely asked by the Director of National Intelligence to cease using an unsecured phone as Bush and Obama had done at this point in the transition—a request he refused. (I suppose that’s two unprecedented things, but I meant the refusing to follow security protocols, not tweeting.)

4. That tweet was to complain that spontaneous protests around the country were actually “professional protesters incited by the media”. (And that’s actually such a ball of unprecedented things that I can’t untangle them all and will pretend like it’s just one.) If you’ve never visited the alt-right corners of the web, you may be unaware of the concept of “crisis actors”, but he’s claiming that they’ve been mobilized against him. (Oddly, “crisis actors” up till now have always been in the Obama administration’s payroll, but I guess “the media” has decided to take them over as part of the peaceful transition of power?)

This is happening, folks. If you’d hoped he was going to make that presidential pivot; if you thought that last week, when his phone was stolen from him by his own advisors and he was convinced to just sit back and let the Comey letter do its job—”easy, Donald, play it smooth”—and everyone applauded him for managing to get through eight whole days without a scandal (so presidential!), if you thought that was a preview of his presidency, today put the lie to that.

Prepare yourself. Masha’s advice will help.


Nailed it.

Originally shared by Daniel Keys Moran

Idiot on another page posted: “Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party are, will continue to be and always have been, completely sold out.”

Me: Completely sold out compared to what? Some platonic ideal that’s never existed in the history of the world? The Democratic Party is:

1. Pro-gay rights & gay marriage

2. Pro-choice. Pro-woman.

3. Obamacare

4. Against global warming — hell, recognizes that global warming is real.

5. Pro-union

6. Pro-minimum wage increase

7. Pro-balanced budget

8. Pro-taxing the rich

9. Pro infrastructure.

10. Pro “Black Lives Matter”

11. Pro clean energy & renewables

12. Pro science

13. Pro banking legislation

14. Pro immigrant

15. Pro-disabled people

16. Pro campaign finance reform — do you know who “Citizen’s United” was ABOUT? Hillary Clinton, kids.

17. Free college for working class kids

18. Anti-fucking-NRA

19. Pro-veteran

20. Pro all the many many people-who-aren’t-rich-white-and-straight-and-male.

SOLD OUT. Jesus, you stupid people.

Words from Bobby Seale

Originally shared by Bobby Seale

First of all, my original Black Panther Party and the Black Lives Matter Movement do NOT assassinate police. Secondly, we of the original BPP, founded in 1966, do NOT have anything to do with the so-called NEW back panthers. I, Bobby Seale, support President Barack Obama and David Brown of the Dallas Police department protecting the rights of the Black Lives Matter Movement in developing better community police relations which is truly the right thing to do. In the case of Dallas, Texas, the five police officers who were murdered and those wounded by some deranged person, who had nothing to do with the true Black Lives Matter nonviolent protest movement, I, Bobby Seale stand with and support the progressive politics by the Dallas Chief of Police who advocates and who, we have discovered, has taken the lead in building positive community trust relationships with the people of his city.

Therefore I re-post my December 14th 2014 statement on why my original BPP and the BLM are not and do not, nor never will be a part of any murderous assassination of policemen and how in my own 1973 mayoral campaign in Oakland, California, I was on the right road to doing what the Dallas police chief did evolve in his city when I developed relationships with policemen who became friends who voted for me for mayor and later, police friends in Philadelphia, PA with numerous policemen who became real close friends and who supported me in the 1980’s during my community organizing efforts there. The first paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, which was drawn up in Philadelphia, I paraphrased as part of my original founding documentation of my original Black Panther Party’s ten point program in October 1966.


December 26, 2014

We Do Not Assassinate Policemen.

Real peoples’ constitutional democratic civil-human rights revolution is not about a need for violence. Grass roots, middle working, poor and low income peoples revolution is about evolving and re-evolving more progressive politics, i.e., better economic parity, greater environmental ecological standards and practices, and broad social justice empowerments into the hands of the people via legislative policies and practical economic jobs programs that make humane sense. That is what peoples empowerment revolution is about.

The fact that some mentally deranged young person who shot his girlfriend, left Baltimore for New York and then stupidly shot and killed two police officers and himself has little or nothing to do with the peaceful protester’s right to demand and call for justice and indictments of specific policemen or others involved in the killings of the unarmed Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and others including black killings in Cleveland Ohio, Milwaukee Wisconsin and many cities across our USA. Nor should the killer of the two police officers in New York be any reason for that small group of protest chanters to call for cops to be killed. They are dead wrong to chant that. Such a chant begins to confuse the real social justice goal objective of the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

Months before the beginning of my Black Panther Party for Self Defense in October 1966, I remember meeting at Merritt College a Black Police officer, Sargent Williams who was recruiting young black and brown male students for the Oakland Police Department. Conversationally befriending him, I remember he gave us information about the thirty five percent white racist policemen in the Oakland P.D., how most other policemen were just doing their jobs. {Read my book SEIZE THE TIME]

Later, when we went out to “legally” observe the Oakland, SF, Richmond, and Berkeley, California police, because of the unchecked rampant police brutality and murder of Black People in those communities, not to mention their brutality on peaceful protesters, our patrolling of police was our BPP tactic. A tactic to capture the imagination of the people to better organize their electoral voting power bringing the community together. I never thought in terms of just running out and killing policemen. Never. Not me. In fact our Black Panther policy was that we will take the arrest if a policeman formally demanded it. We were not scared of the court. The courts would be a forum for us as I demonstrated in the Great Chicago Seven Conspiracy trial in 1969 of which I was the eighth defendant. And later we defendants won that case.

After the last big shootout on December 8th 1969 in Los Angeles which we won in the courts with nationwide public support, there was a young white Berkeley policeman who stole the POLICE-FBI plans to attack out Berkeley, CA BPP headquarters and gave the plans to our Lawyer, Charles R. Garry. The young policemen lost his job, but it gave us an edge when we printed these POLICE-FBI planned attacks that later was fed into the US Senate investigation against the FBI’s COINTELPRO fascist tactics. This political move stopped all the racist Fascist attacks on our BPP offices across the USA. Actually of all the Black Panther Party members who went to trial, we actually won ninety-five percent of all our court room trials.

Over the years I have become friends with many policemen beginning with some thirty odd policemen who supported and voted for me when I ran for Mayor of Oakland, CA in 1974. These were the days after the 1969 year of cross country police-FBI attacks on our BPP offices where we did defend ourselves when we were literally attacked. After my BPP era, and living in Philadelphia, PA, I became friends with some eight different police and state troopers in Philadelphia while organizing socially responsible programs at Temple University and running, yet again, youth Jobs programs (my real original forte’) in the Germantown community in Philadelphia in the 1980’s.

Today I have a Black Panther Party person who is an Honorary Deputy Sheriff complete with his badge. We, you and I, the peace loving people protesting for justice, do NOT stoop to the level of the racist mentality of indiscriminate killings and murder. And we find and support those policemen who help us get the justice we demand.

All Power to All the People

Bobby Seale: 1966 Founding Chairman &

National Organizer of the original Black Panther Party

Protestors chant outside a downtown hotel in Boston, Wednesday, June 29, 2016, where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was holding a lunchtime fundraiser. Trump was scheduled to hold a rally later in the afternoon in Bangor, Maine. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Yet more evidence that Democratic States are better run than GOP States


Originally shared by Douglas County DFL

Yet more evidence that Democratic States are better run than GOP States 

Rankings based on 14 measurements of raw data that Politico Magazine rounded up “from reputable sources like the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI, and on important factors such as high school graduation rates, per capita income, life expectancy and crime rate.”

One can also examine other metrics to see this very clear pattern:

Red States rake in far more in federal tax revenue than they contribute. More of that borrow and spend fiscal conservatism!

More comparisons: