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Posts Tagged ‘Joan Baez

Should Joan Baez endorse Bernie Sanders?

Pledged my allegiance not to a flag or a nation state but to humankind

 Joan Baez· April 7, 2016 at 7:12am ·

I’ve had conflicting feelings as to whether or not I should officially endorse Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

I would be making this decision for only the second time in my life.

The first time was for Barack Obama, the master of the spoken word whose brilliance (and smile) brought people together and ignited our spirits for the first time in decades. Aside from endorsing Barack Obama, I have refused to step into the arena of party politics.

My choice, from an early age, has been to engage in social change from the ground up, using the power of organized nonviolence.

A distrust of the political process was firmly in place by the time I was 15. As a daughter of Quakers I pledged my allegiance not to a flag or a nation state but to humankind, the two often having little to do with each other.

Ideally, both Obama and Sanders could have used their unique gifts to build a grass roots movement, sidestepping the Oval Office and going directly to the streets to organize from the sidewalks, street corners, living rooms and churches.

Gandhi himself refused to be part of the newly formed Independent India government after he led the country to independence, and remained committed to nonviolent opposition.

Can a true political revolution ever start from within the party system?

It does seem like an insurmountable contradiction. And to imagine that more than a fraction of Bernie’s agenda could ever come to fruition is probably setting expectations too high.

Yet Bernie has won my heart.

He supports causes in which I have been personally involved for decadesI take great strength from his firm stance against the death penalty, (amazing!) his belief that Palestinians should have a place at the bargaining table, (unheard of!) his understanding that the prison system must transform its agenda from punishment to rehabilitation,

his desire to treat immigrants as human beings, and of course by his grass roots funding and astonishing refusal to sell himself to the devil on Wall Street, or anywhere else for that matter.

I am profoundly moved by this elder statesman, his compelling honesty, and his ability to engage young people.

Why am I not spending my time trying to woo Bernie into grass roots organizing?

For the moment I’m going with my heart, which I mentioned, he has won. I am not sold on “the system” and never will be. I’m sold on the guy from Brooklyn.

I’ve learned a lot while writing this piece. I know that I am ambivalent about supporting someone who will be thrown to the lions if he wins.

He is a lion in his own right, and I want to see him win. Not just to conquer the growing evil in the other party, but also to see what he can do to bend the system towards a less corrupt and more generous country than we are at present.

I joyfully and wholeheartedly endorse Bernie Sanders to be the nominee for the Democratic Party in the 2016 Presidential Election.

-Joan Baez

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Joan Baez opinions on the candidates and the political system

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I’ve had conflicting feelings as to whether or not I should officially endorse Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

I would be making this decision for only the second time in my life. The first time was for Barack Obama, the master of the spoken word whose brilliance (and smile) brought people together and ignited our spirits for the first time in decades. Aside from endorsing Barack Obama, I have refused to step into the arena of party politics.

My choice, from an early age, has been to engage in social change from the ground up, using the power of organized nonviolence. A distrust of the political process was firmly in place by the time I was 15. As a daughter of Quakers I pledged my allegiance not to a flag or a nation state but to humankind, the two often having little to do with each other.

Ideally, both Obama and Sanders could have used their unique gifts to build a grass roots movement, sidestepping the Oval Office and going directly to the streets to organize from the sidewalks, street corners, living rooms and churches.

Gandhi himself refused to be part of the newly formed Independent India government after he led the country to independence, and remained committed to nonviolent opposition.

Can a true political revolution ever start from within the party system? It does seem like an insurmountable contradiction. And to imagine that more than a fraction of Bernie’s agenda could ever come to fruition is probably setting expectations too high.

Yet Bernie has won my heart. He supports causes in which I have been personally involved for decades.

I take great strength from his firm stance against the death penalty, (amazing!) his belief that Palestinians should have a place at the bargaining table, (unheard of!) his understanding that the prison system must transform its agenda from punishment to rehabilitation, his desire to treat immigrants as human beings, and of course by his grass roots funding and astonishing refusal to sell himself to the devil on Wall Street, or anywhere else for that matter. I am profoundly moved by this elder statesman, his compelling honesty, and his ability to engage young people.

Why am I not spending my time trying to woo Bernie into grass roots organizing? For the moment I’m going with my heart, which I mentioned, he has won. I am not sold on “the system” and never will be. I’m sold on the guy from Brooklyn.

I’ve learned a lot while writing this piece. I know that I am ambivalent about supporting someone who will be thrown to the lions if he wins. He is a lion in his own right, and I want to see him win.

Not just to conquer the growing evil in the other party, but also to see what he can do to bend the system towards a less corrupt and more generous country than we are at present.

I joyfully and wholeheartedly endorse Bernie Sanders to be the nominee for the Democratic Party in the 2016 Presidential Election.

-Joan Baez

Note 1: Nicolas Sawaya My article “Bernie Sanders’ record on Palestine” has been published at Mondoweiss.

Bernie Sanders is clearly more progressive on the Palestinian issue than any other major candidate for the Presidency including Hillary Clinton.
Still, Nicolas Sawaya says that when viewed from a P…
mondoweiss.net

Note 2: Ralph Nader explained how difficult it is to be an independent candidate.

The two-party system is suffocating independent challengers By Ralph Nader March 25, 2016
Follow RalphNader a consumer advocate and author of “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.” Ralph Nader: Why Bernie Sanders…

“Fleeing to Hell” by Samir Atallah

This post is inspired by an article published by the Lebanese journalist Samir Atallah in the daily Al Nahar Sept. 28.  I will be mostly translating liberally from Arabic, and not in the order the article proceded.

“The French daily “Humanitee” is celebrating its 107 birthday.  It was turned to a communist media in 1920 and the communist party still hold 40% of its shares. Joan Baez sang in the festivity along with Jane Fonda…You had the impression that the “Arab Spring” revolutions are behind us, a momentary curiosity, and part of history…

Late French President, Charles de Gaulle, said that “Religion is an extension to moral standards. The prophet has to apply his own guidelines and principles…I will call the first part of my Memoires “Years of hope“.

Hope always sounds a slap and an offense to whoever utter that word in the Arab World: Hope is understood as an offense to reality and frustration, contrary to the golden dictum “Silence is gold and keeping your tongue warm is the road to safety and security“.

What could be worst than encouraging social civil wars by keeping silent of the causes that will ultimately ignite a civil war?

Qadhafi wrote a short story titled “Fleeing to Hell“.  He said: “Not only you fail, but you also fail to learn the lessons…What set you apart is that you are unable to recognizing right from wrong no matter how you deny it…The citizens want you to build a road to the sea, to plant the garden, to kill the dogs and replace dogs with cats…”

Maximilian Robespierre, the bloodiest French revolutionary was the role model of Qadhafi. Why? Because Robespierre understood that the people are heartless and practiced the motto “Do not spare anyone of your companions and never trust the people“.

Qadhafi learned from Romania dictator Ceucesco to build underground tunnels under every property you live-in, in  order to secure an exit route. But this tactic never worked.

Indeed, Qadhafi fled to hell, and his people got out of hell.  And returned to hell…

Still, Qadhafi keeps shouting and threatening to exterminate all the rats and roaches that rose to dislodging his regime.

Communism did not end because of any success story of capitalism, but for the arrogance they ruled the people, as if they never learned from their Caesar the Emperor.

Communism played the game of Russian roulette, while liberal capitalism is playing Las Vegas kinds of roulette. The consequence of any political system that enslaves the mind of its citizen.

The western societies lambasted the oriental people of accepting their fate…What kind of rational processes the west is applying nowadays? It is a wide open casino:  The Greeks want money and enter the European Union totally drunk, the Italians are stealthy inserting their hands in other States pockets, and the US enters all guns out, hoarding the cash register and funding the largest army that mankind ever imagined.

Charles de Gaulle decided to retreat to his house in the Boiserie as he realized that his staying in power is liable of initiating mass upheavals…

Apparently, the period of Orientalism is not over yet: The western societies see the Arab World in romantic visions, as exceptions to the rules: All these mass popular upheavals are just attempts at looking out the window, but not a purposeful decision to exiting from the doors of jails…

Western scholars still believe that the only rational mind was Ibn Khaldun (6 centuries ago) and no rational mind and leader succeeded Ibn Khaldun.

(Sprawling cities, surrounded with shantytowns, dying out of boredom in Amman, Algeria, Riyadh…

Sprawling cities transformed into caves, tunnels, and bunkers in Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Gaza, Syria…to be followed by Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain…)


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