Bernie Sanders defines democratic socialism in Georgetown speech

Novem­ber 19, 2015 – “Demo­c­ra­tic social­ism means cre­at­ing a just soci­ety in Amer­ica that pro­vides the kind of rights spelled out in 1944 by Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt, pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Sen. Bernie Sanders of Ver­mont said today at Georgetown.

He saw one-third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad and ill-nourished,” explained Sanders to a packed audi­ence of George­town stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff in Gas­ton Hall. “And he acted, against the fero­cious oppo­si­tion of the rul­ing class of his day. … Roo­sevelt imple­mented a series of pro­grams that put mil­lions of Amer­i­cans back to work, took them out of dire poverty and restored their faith in government.”

Almost every pro­gram he pro­duced, every idea he intro­duced, was called social­ist,” Sanders added, to cheers…” —

Read Bernie Sanders’s speech on demo­c­ra­tic social­ism in the United States:
(Updated by Andrew Prokop on Novem­ber 19, 2015)

12 Points:

1. Major polit­i­cal and eco­nomic reforms.

2. An end to cor­po­rate welfare.

3. A national pub­lic health­care sys­tem.

4. Tuition-free pub­lic col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties.

5. A gov­ern­ment that cre­ates jobs, not pris­on­ers.

6. A liv­ing min­i­mum wage and real fam­ily leave.

7. Stop­ping cli­mate change-causing indus­tries.

8. The wealthy must pay a fair share of taxes.

9. America’s polit­i­cal sys­tem must be a democ­racy.

10. Demo­c­ra­tic social­ism is not a gov­ern­ment takeover.

11. Equal treat­ment by gov­ern­ment, not racism.

12. Do not become cyn­i­cal; work for change.


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Religious kids are harsher and less generous than atheist ones, study says

By Melissa Binder | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on Novem­ber 05, 2015 at 9:00 AM, updated Novem­ber 05, 2015 at 5:07 PM

When it comes to teach­ing kids the Golden Rule, Sun­day school might not be the best bet.

A new study in the jour­nal Cur­rent Biol­ogy found chil­dren in reli­gious house­holds are sig­nif­i­cantly less gen­er­ous than their non-religious peers.

At the same time, reli­gious par­ents were more likely than non-religious ones to con­sider their chil­dren empa­thetic and sen­si­tive to the plight of others.

It’s a com­mon assump­tion in the United States that faith goes hand-in-hand with good­ness. The Pew Research Cen­ter reported last year that 53 per­cent of Amer­i­cans think it’s nec­es­sary to believe in God to be moral.

Amer­i­cans over­whelm­ingly elect Chris­t­ian rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and they dis­trust athe­ists.

This study chal­lenges those atti­tudes. It was the chil­dren in non-religious homes most likely to be gen­er­ous toward a stranger. The longer a child had lived in a reli­gious home, the stingier he was com­pared to his sec­u­lar peers.

Full report:

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If Women Took Up Arms…


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Brain Scans Reveal Conservative, Right-wing Brain to be Primitive, Stone Age Throwback










The advent of mod­ern neu­roimag­ing tech­nol­ogy such as MRI, PET and CAT scans have spawned new gen­er­a­tions of research into the bio­log­i­cal basis of polit­i­cal beliefs. This research has iden­ti­fied two dis­tinct regions of the human brain that con­di­tion, if not orig­i­nate polit­i­cal decisions.

Sev­eral recent stud­ies (See bib­li­og­ra­phy) and in par­tic­u­lar, a 2011 joint study between the Uni­ver­sity Col­lege, Lon­don Insti­tute of Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science and Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego (Vol­ume 21, Issue 8) show that lib­er­al­ism is cor­re­lated with greater activ­ity in the area of the brain called the ante­rior cin­gu­late cor­tex, specif­i­cally, the insula.

The increase of activ­ity also cor­re­lates with an increase in the vol­ume of the insula’s grey mat­ter that lib­er­als have over con­ser­v­a­tives. The insula is the region of the brain asso­ci­ated with the sub­jec­tive feel­ings of self and oth­ers. In short, per­sonal reflec­tion and social empathy.

On the other hand, when exam­ined under the same con­di­tions, con­ser­v­a­tives and polit­i­cal right-wingers show an increased activ­ity and vol­ume of grey mat­ter in the region of the brain called the amyg­dala. This area is also known as the “fear center.”

The amyg­dala is a prim­i­tive region of the brain that focuses entirely on neg­a­tive stim­u­lus or per­sonal and tribal fears. When acti­vated, its “fight or flight” reac­tion and con­se­quent behav­ior utterly dom­i­nates those brain struc­tures ded­i­cated to rea­son and crit­i­cal thinking.

It is why “fear sells,” and “if it bleeds, it leads.” In other words, such a focus on “neg­a­tive bias” was crit­i­cal in the evo­lu­tion­ary devel­op­ment of Homo sapi­ens. How­ever, it is strictly an animal-like response to dan­ger and is asso­ci­ated entirely with a fear of out­siders and a readi­ness to fight nonex­is­tent boogeymen.

And because the for­ma­tion, devel­op­ment and direc­tion of polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy has such deep and far reach­ing con­se­quences, espe­cially in terms of wealth and power, research into the mech­a­nisms and processes of thought and iden­tity are vital to the suc­cess of any cam­paign, pol­icy or set of deci­sions that effect per­sonal choices and civil society.

For exam­ple, since the end of World War II the con­ser­v­a­tive fear of overblown ene­mies has blindly launched our nation into war after war along with all the asso­ci­ated acts of tor­ture, inhu­man­ity and the crim­i­nal inva­sion of inno­cent soci­eties such as Iraq. Fig­ures such as Sad­dam Hus­sein fit right into the con­ser­v­a­tive need for vio­lence, lies and the near per­ma­nent para­noia in which these right-wingers subsist.

This right-wing para­noia is what invents non-existent videos that pur­posely stir a con­tin­ual “moral panic” such as is waged against Planned Par­ent­hood; con­ser­v­a­tive fear of mass inva­sions by mur­der­ous, dis­ease car­ry­ing immi­grants daily influ­ence social and eco­nomic pol­icy; reli­gious lead­ers foment hor­ror at the sup­posed hordes of wild homo­sex­u­als that sup­pos­edly destroy the fab­ric of civ­i­liza­tion; they express con­tin­ual out­rage over minori­ties who act out of place and are riotous; they imag­ine athe­ists and lib­er­als actively engaged in the destruc­tion of democ­racy; they con­sider Chris­tian­ity under attack by vicious legions of blood-drinking com­mu­nists; and these reac­tionar­ies pos­sess var­i­ous other defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of con­ser­vatism that denies real­ity for the sake of their fears.

Their poli­cies con­tinue to pro­mote a love­less envi­ron­ment as wit­nessed in their fight against uni­ver­sal health care; their addic­tion to the pro­lif­er­a­tion of pris­ons and jail-time rather than tak­ing the informed steps nec­es­sary to elim­i­nate poverty and asso­ci­ated crime; and they con­tinue to drag down and impede for­ward think­ing progress with their hor­ri­bly blind, resis­tant and back­ward attempts to deny cli­mate change, global warm­ing, or focus on solu­tions des­per­ately needed to avert real and appar­ent extinction.

Right-wing ide­ol­ogy is char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally defen­sive and habit­u­ally debases acts of gen­eros­ity and ridicules con­cepts of altru­ism as seen by their fix­a­tion on “aus­ter­ity” and a repu­di­a­tion of the “wel­fare state” but find no issue with bil­lions of the same tax dol­lars spent on sub­si­dies for the wealthy and super wealthy. In this way, they seek to embrace and iden­tify with author­ity fig­ures rather than ques­tion what they are told.

By com­par­i­son, the insula is active under con­di­tions where thought, emo­tional ties, social pro­cess­ing and the feel­ings of self aware­ness arise. Under MRIs all test­ing asso­ci­ated with moral intu­ition such as guilt, atone­ment, con­tempt, pride, decep­tion, humil­i­a­tion, truth­ful­ness, empa­thy towards and for oth­ers as well as an eager­ness and abil­ity to accept new ideas all light up the boards in this par­tic­u­lar region.

With the rise of reli­gious, racist, and national extrem­ism it is essen­tial that we con­tinue to explore some of the deep dif­fer­ences between lib­er­als and con­ser­v­a­tives. Such research will help to fur­ther untan­gle the roles of party, ide­ol­ogy, genes, and neu­rocog­ni­tion that are essen­tial for advanc­ing our under­stand­ing of polit­i­cal atti­tudes and behavior.


Jeanna Bryner, Con­ser­v­a­tives Are More Squea­mish than Liberals, October 26, 2011. (

John R. Hib­bing, Kevin B. Smith and John R. Alford. Dif­fer­ences in Neg­a­tiv­ity Bias Under­lie Vari­a­tions in Polit­i­cal Ide­ol­ogy. Behav­ioral and Brain Sci­ences / Vol­ume 37 / Issue 03 / June 2014, pp 297– 307. (

Jost JT, Glaser J, Kruglan­ski AW, Sul­loway FJ (2003) “Polit­i­cal Con­ser­vatism as Moti­vated Social Cog­ni­tion.” Psy­cho­log­i­cal Bul­letin 129: 339–375 [PubMed] (

Ryota Kanai, Tom Feilden, Colin Firth, Geraint Rees. Vol­ume 21, Issue 8, p677–680, 26 April 2011. Polit­i­cal Ori­en­ta­tions Are Cor­re­lated with Brain Struc­ture in Young Adults. (–2)

Neu­rocog­ni­tive Cor­re­lates of Lib­er­al­ism and Con­ser­vatism, 2007. (

Repub­li­can Brains Dif­fer From Democ­rats’ In New FMRI Study, (

Dar­ren Schreiber, Greg Fonzo, Alan N. Sim­mons, Christo­pher T. Dawes, Taru Fla­gan, James H. Fowler, and Mar­tin P. Paulus. Red Brain, Blue Brain: Eval­u­a­tive Processes Dif­fer in Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans. (

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True Patriots: “When We Tried To Tell You,” Kent State Massacre, May 4, 1970

The True Patriots: "When We Tried To Tell You," Kent State Massacre, May 4, 1970

The True Patri­ots: “When We Tried To Tell You,” Kent State Mas­sacre, May 4, 1970

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Deflowered with the Marines — the video

Video clip cour­tesy of

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