11 thoughts on “Obama’s party banned by United States ultra-Right university


    This Memorial Day: Should We Arrest Cheney and Bush, Impeach Obama?

    Democratic consumption is an irredeemable political/economic system that has proven itself unable to justly and equitably allow all global citizens to live in peace, abundance and sustainability.

    By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
    Earth Meanders come from Earth’s Newsdesk, http://www.ecoearth.info/newsdesk/

    It has been awhile since I have written how U.S. militarism to prop up an unsustainable way of life is destroying both Earth and freedom. As Obama induced “hopenosis” starts wearing off, it is clear that on several key issues — war, civil liberties and climate change — we are getting “Bush Lite” policies from President Obama that differ little from his criminal predecessor. Military commissions to try those illegally held for years will occur after all, and some may be held forever without charges. We continue to be spied upon. Obama is escalating the unwinnable war in Afghanistan, and drawing out the criminal occupation of Iraq. Meanwhile the real Earth and society crushing crises of climate change and global ecosystem collapse remain woefully unaddressed. Heil Bush! Heil Obama!

    After nearly a decade of criminal rule, America continues under new management to careen forward, wounded and flailing in vain attempts to return to a state of excessive democratic consumption. On the economy, the President has borrowed (stolen?) trillions from our children to rescue a dying industrial and speculative capitalistic shell game built upon usury, greed and unsustainability. And we are getting an inadequate climate change policy that cherry picks token measures to be seen as acting while coddling coal and tar sands which we know must end to survive. America’s might makes right, damn the truth and consequences, mind set is destroying civilized society and our one shared Earth.

    Democrats and Republicans are two faces of the same imperial American war machine, hell-bent to destroy Earth for one last fix of economic growth. Happiness and meaning is always having more stuff, damn the consequences for the Earth and poor. President Bush is a known war criminal that a truly just, law-abiding, democratic system would bring to justice. Torture, rigged elections, unprovoked illegal and imperial wars, spying on law-abiding citizens — President or not, these are illegal behaviors. As are the current weak (and orders of magnitude insufficient) climate bill, subsidizing coal and its mountaintop removal mining, and continuing a state of unjustified perma-war when a great nation and its peoples are going bankrupt — both financially and morally.

    Charge War and Climate Criminals Starting with Cheney, Bush and Further Down the Chain of Command

    On this Memorial Day, consider the following. Ex-president Bush (thank Gaia), high ranking associates and some soldiers have substantively violated the 1996 U.S. War Crimes Act (penalties which can include death), the international Third Geneva Convention of 1949, and the 1987 UN Torture Convention. For almost a decade, climate science was willfully ignored placing our shared survival at imminent risk. Why are the war and climate criminals not being charged and their actions undone?

    And responsibility for the state of affairs is diffuse and wide-ranging. The Uniform Code of Military Justice makes clear soldiers have an obligation and a duty to only obey lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders. These include Presidential orders that do not comply with the Code, the constitution and international law. Further, it was established by the U.S. at the WW II Nuremberg war trials that “following orders” is not justification for war crimes. There is no moving forward until we acknowledge that, in fact, many American soldiers are war criminals — including Bush and Cheney — and must be tried for their crimes.

    Apparently there are two sets of laws in America, one for the rich ruling elite and their well-armed minions, and the other for working, thinking men and women. Torture is against the law and immoral. Unprovoked war is against the law and immoral. Spying on your citizens is against the law and immoral. A state of perma-war against terrorism, which is a tactic and not an enemy, rather than taking coordinated international actions to police terrorism is just plain dumb and ineffective. Rather than fully reversing course and investigating and charging those that broke laws, Obama appears bent upon de facto pardoning and even continuing some of these egregious policies. Thus withers what remains of American ideals.

    Obama’s Free Ride Is Over: End the Wars, Sufficiently Address Climate Change

    It is treacherous and unforgivable that President Obama does not fully support a truth and reconciliation commission. It is up to President Obama to end Bush’s holy wars, embrace a foreign policy based upon human rights and ecological sustainability, and make peace not war, in order that we can address the real threats to our security which include unsustainable industrial capitalism and collapsing global ecosystems. There are other choices for governance than a two party system where both find truth anathema, and seek to grow the economy until its ecological foundation crumbles and falls.

    It is sadly becoming clear that this Presidency will continue militaristic foreign policy and inadequate token climate policies. The new President has shown his true color, as apologist for the ruling elite’s war-mongering, growth machine — intent upon liquidating ecosystems for endless wealth for the rich and a few token jobs for the rest. The ruling elite and fossil fuel oligarchy find the new management to be perfectly fine, as long as U.S policies of raping the Earth for growth at the point of a gun are maintained.

    Like many, I am beginning to question Obama’s hopenosis — the hypnotic rhetoric of change and hope. Either he is committed to undoing Bush’s military fascism and Earth destruction, or he is not. You can’t half make war or half address climate change. Either your policies are sufficient to bring peace and sustainability, or they are not. Either you uphold American ideals and rule in a law-abiding manner, or you don’t.

    If you do not and willingly lead America and the world to ruin, you have in effect abdicated, and lost the legitimacy to rule, including being the only lawful user of political violence. Obama should not yet be impeached, but he had best start living up to his rhetoric and lead strongly on issues of imperial perma-war, civil rights and ecological sustainability; which do not respond well to half-measures and compromise.

    Time to Regain Moral Compass, Lead on International Law and Environmental Conventions

    It is not the American government’s job to keep us save at the expense of global self-evident truths of freedom, liberty, justice and ecological sustainability. Some 3,000 people died tragically on 9/11. This is the same number of children that die DAILY from preventable dirty water, a problem that could be fixed globally with one-time $25 billion expenditure. Their lives are no less valuable than stockbrokers. America played right into the terrorist’s hands with a disproportional, non-nuanced militaristic response which placed our economy and commitment to social and ecological issues at stake.

    So what to do now? Wage war endlessly, killing hundreds of thousands in retribution, without setting up legitimate long-term international institutions to stop terrorism and the exploitation and military adventurism which are its causes? It is time to gain some perspective and move on to climate change, water scarcity, extreme poverty, ocean and land ecosystem collapse, sustainable jobs and the myriad of other emerging and merging ecological and social crisis that truly threaten all of our very beings. Earth is dying and America is still immersed in vengeance for past U.S. foreign policy blowback.

    Virtually the only chance to address these looming global ecological and social crises is to sue for peace, negotiate global military demobilization (as was the norm before the World Wars), dismantle the military industrial growth complex, and divert these resources towards energy conservation, efficiency, renewable energy, and equitable sustainable development. It is unfathomable that billions live on under $2/day while good portions of the rest are obese and remain dissatisfied with their material lot in life. There can be no lasting peace or ecological sustainability until there is more just and equitable sharing of Earth’s bounty.

    It is better that America lives up to its ideals of liberty and freedom — the only thing that truly does make America exceptional — and have a slightly higher chance of a terrorist act occurring, than become a barricaded nation of affluence for awhile longer on a crumbling Planet. It is not our wasteful standard of living that makes America great, it is the belief that all men and women are created equal and free. Should that be jettisoned to protect ourselves from vicious, lunatic religious thugs? The way forward is commitment to international laws, universal disarmament and a sustainable Earth for all her creatures and peoples.

    It will be difficult if not impossible to bring an over-populated and inequitable consumption plagued world into a state of long-term global ecological sustainability. There can be no lasting security unless America sheds its militarism and once again engages in global measures to establish sufficient international law and environmental protections. It is not military power or excessive lifestyles that make America exceptional, it is our flawed yet dogged advancement of the ideals of freedom, liberty and justice; without which there is nothing special in the American dream.

    Don’t you dare tell me I don’t love my country. I am a true blooded, liberty loving American (including the sometimes ugly part) through and through. I just love being — the Earth and all her creatures and peoples — more. We are all one human family and these false national, tribal divisions are relicts of a bygone era. Enlightened global citizens know we are all one human family on a fragile, collapsing Earth habitat. We will fully commit to peace, freedom and sustainability, including a possible Earth uprising if all else fails; or we will all share a horrific ride together, at each other’s throat, towards global self-immolation. Clearly America and world’s political economy is failing both Earth and freedom.

    Comment on this essay: http://www.ecoearth.info/blog/2009/05/earth_meanders_this_memorial_d.asp

  2. Dear Young Democrat,

    Last week I asked you to take action in response to the outrageous decison by the ironically named Liberty University to ban the Young Democrats of America chapter on their campus. In just 48 hours nearly 3,000 of you did so, and the university is paying attention, but unfortunately they aren’t listening.

    Despite initially citing a major reason for the ban was the club’s support for “socialism” — an unfair, untrue, and purely partisan claim — the university is changing their story. In true conservative fashion, the adminstration of Liberty University has tried to make this about Women’s rights, LGBT rights, Democratic candidates, and the audacious claim at socialism. We have stood firm in our message of only wanting equality for Democratic students on campus.

    If we want their rights reinstated … we need to keep pushing.

    Sign on today! We will be delivering the petition THIS FRIDAY, so lets get going!


    In solidarity,

    David Hardt
    YDA President

    • So if the club actually did have a socialist agenda (or had some socialist ideas within their platform) then it would be understandable to ban their activity? I hope not. The “socialist” agenda for creating a Medicare-For-All healthcare plan would be not only fiscally conservative, but also, ahem, Christian. So would jettisoning the ideology of homophobia in place of Christian love for gays. Go, Pope Francis! (But I suppose the Liberty-ites view him as the anti-Pope/anti-Christ?)

      • Thanks for your comment! Maybe the right wing within Roman Catholicism (Lefevre followers etc.) sees Pope Francis as an anti-pope. Traditionally, fundamentalist Protestants tend to see all popes as anti-Christ.

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  8. Earlier this week I spoke at Liberty University. For those of you who do not know, Liberty University is a deeply religious institution. It is a school which tries to understand the meaning of morality and the words of the Bible, within the context of a very complicated modern world. It was founded by the Reverend Jerry Falwell, and the vast majority of people at Liberty strongly disagree with me, and perhaps you, about abortion, marriage equality, and other issues.

    You might be asking yourself, “Why on earth would Bernie Sanders go there?” It is a fair question within the context of our modern politics.

    I spoke at Liberty University because I believe that it is important for those with different views in our country to engage in civil discourse – not just to shout at each other or make fun of each other.

    It is very easy for those in politics to talk to those who agree with us – and I do that every day. It is harder, but not less important, to try and communicate with those who do not agree with us and see where, if possible, we can find common ground. In other words, to reach out of our zone of comfort.

    So I went outside of my zone of comfort. Watch this video of my remarks there and read what I have to say about the ideas of morality and justice as they relate to income inequality and other critical issues facing our nation.


    Bernie speaking at Liberty University

    The message I gave at Liberty University is that the moral choice is to fight income inequality, and that the just thing to do is to work to make our society more fair. Below are some of my remarks to Liberty from the video above, but I think it is important to share them with you here as well so that you can share with others how I approach these issues.

    I am far, far from a perfect human being, but I am motivated by a vision which exists in all of the great religions – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and others – and which is so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthew 7:12. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the prophets.” The Golden Rule. Do to others what you would have them do to you. Not very complicated.

    I told the crowd at Liberty University that I understand that issues such as abortion and gay marriage are very important to them, and that we disagree on those issues. I get that. But there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country and the world and that maybe, just maybe, we don’t disagree on them. And maybe, just maybe, we can work together in trying to resolve them.

    Amos 5:24, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

    Justice. Treating others the way we would like to be treated. Treating all people with dignity and respect.

    It would, I think, be hard for anyone in that room where I spoke to make the case that the United States today is a “just” society or anything resembling a just society.

    In America today there is massive injustice in terms of income and wealth inequality. Injustice is rampant. We live in the wealthiest country in the history of the world but most Americans don’t know that because almost all of that wealth and income is going to the top one percent. We are living at a time where a handful of people have wealth beyond comprehension – huge yachts, jet planes, tens of billions of dollars, more money than they could spend in a thousand lifetimes. But at the same time, millions of people are struggling to feed their families or put a roof over their heads or find the money to go to a doctor.

    When we talk about morality and when we talk about justice, we have to understand that there is no justice when the top one-tenth of one percent own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. There is no justice when all over this country people are working long hours for abysmally low wages, $7.25 an hour or $8 an hour, while 58 percent of all new income being created today goes to the top one percent.

    There is no justice when, in recent years, we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires while, at the same time, the United States has the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. How can we talk about morality when we turn our backs on the children of this country? Twenty percent of the children in this country live in poverty and that includes 40 percent of African American children. There is no justice when, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, children in our country go to bed hungry.

    There is no justice when the 15 wealthiest people in this country saw their wealth increase by $170 billion dollars in the last two years. That is more wealth, acquired in a two-year period, than is owned by the bottom 130 million Americans. And while the very rich become much richer, millions of families have no savings at all and struggle every week just to stay alive economically, and the elderly and disabled wonder how they stay warm in the winter. That is not justice. That is a rigged economy designed by the wealthiest people in this country to benefit the wealthiest people in this country at the expense of everyone else.

    There is no justice when thousands of people in America die each year because they don’t have health insurance and don’t get to a doctor when they should, or when elderly people are forced to choose between food or medicine because our citizens pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. That is not justice. That is not morality. That is simply an indication that we are the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for all as a right.

    There is no justice when low-income and working-class mothers are forced to separate from their babies one or two weeks after birth and go back to work because we are the only major country on earth that does not have a paid family and medical leave policy. That is not justice. That is an attack on family values that everyone should be appalled at.

    There is no justice in our country when youth unemployment exists at tragic levels – with 51 percent of African American high school kids unemployed or underemployed. No. We apparently do not have the funds to provide jobs or educational opportunities for our young people but we sure do have the money to throw them into jails. Today, the United States has more people in jail than any other country on earth, and many are serving time in inhumane conditions. That is not justice. That is the destruction of human life.

    I am not a theologian or an expert on the Bible or a Catholic. I am just a U.S. senator from the small state of Vermont. But I agree with Pope Francis when he says: “The current financial crisis… originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.”

    He also states: “There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. Money has to serve, not to rule.”

    In his view, and I agree with him, we are living in a nation and in a world which worships the acquisition of money and great wealth, but which turns its back on those in need. And that must end. We need to move toward an economy which works for all, and not just the few.

    Throughout human history there has been endless discussion and debate about the meaning of justice and the meaning of morality. I hope that by getting out of my comfort zone and speaking with the students at Liberty University that I can be a part of a dialogue with people who might not agree with us. I hope that some of them conclude that if we strive toward morality and toward justice, that it is imperative that we have the courage to stand with the poor and working people of our country.

    In solidarity,

    Bernie Sanders

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