Thursday, August 12, 2010

America's Senator

A week ago last Monday while driving back from Home Depot in case manager Paul's car the subject of sleep came up. I don't know why. My lovely case manager, Erin, and Paul both stated that they were tired. It wasn't even 10:00AM, and I called them lazy bastards. Paul asked me again, what time it was that I went to sleep at night.
"Lately I've been laying down around nine thirty, or ten, while watching tee vee and reading, and after fifteen minutes or so I fall asleep."
"And what time do you get up," Paul asked.
"Four o'clock," I said.
Erin, who was sitting in the back next to me, muttered under her lovely breath, "Insane..."
"Do you use an alarm clock to get up?," he asked.
"Yeah. But usually I wake up before it goes off, and I just lie there until it does..."
"Insane," Erin repeated.
I don't think It's insane. I have a lot to do. Even getting up at 4:00AM I still have to rush to get the things done that I wish to get done during the day... usually.
However, when I do get up at 4:00 one of the first things I do (after letting out my invisible cat, Herkimer) is turn on my radio to KTLK, L.A.s progressive talk station, 1150 on your radio dial.
At that time in the morning "The Bill Press Show," is on the air, and has been since 3:00. There's a link to his site to the left.
Last December Bill was denied a request for media credentials from the Congressional Radio-Television Galleries, because he was too liberal, they determined. This denial limited the type of reporting he could do from the nation's capital.
Now Bill is a busy guy. He has his show each weekday which airs from 6:00AM to 9:00 eastern time, then he usually attends the White House press corps daily briefing, then he wants to report from the capital, and quite often you'll find him on The Ed Show, facilitated by Ed Schultz on MSNBC, at 6:00PM Washington D.C. time, as a liberal pundit, usually opposite some right wing moron. And then he finds time to write books.
Well since the Congressional Radio-Television Galleries denied him access, Bill came up with the idea of becoming an intern for the Independent Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders in hopes of circumventing the red tape. He is now effectively a reporter for Sander's staff. Amazingly enough, some of the information he gathers with this reporting makes it back to "The Bill Press Show." Amazing!
That was very cool of Senator Sanders. I just heard Bernie on Bill's show this morning (Tuesday), and he joked about Bill getting his coffee for him, and running out to pick up his shirts from the cleaners.
Very cool.
After I listen to Bill's program, and after the "Stephanie Miller Show," which comes on after, I usually listen to Thom Hartmann, who broadcasts from Portland, OR, here on the west coast from 9:00 to noon. Talkers Magazine has named Thom the most important liberal host in America.
For several years now the first hour of Friday's program is labeled "Breakfast with Bernie," with Sen. Sanders talking to Thom for about fifteen minutes or so, then taking calls from listeners for the rest of the hour.
Pretty cool too. Where else can you get such free access to one of our United States Senators on such a regular basis? I know of no other Senator who bothers to put themselves out like this, and for that reason Thom often calls Bernie, "America's Senator." And I have to agree.
Who is this Sanders person? Well I'll tell you a little.
Bernie Sanders is the junior Senator from the state of Vermont, and was elected to that position in 2006. Before that he served in the House of Representatives for 16 years representing the entire state as they only have one representative. Before that he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont from 1981 to 1989. Before that he tried to be Vermont's governor, and before that he was a carpenter and journalist.
I earlier mentioned that Bernie was an Independent, which is what he runs as during elections. But he calls himself a democratic socialist, the only person ever elected to Congress as a socialist.
Many people are very afraid when they hear that word, "socialist." They equate that word to the communist regimes of the U.S.S.R., and China. And socialism certainly played a roll in the governments of those two countries, but the old Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China were largely dictatorships, the socialist ideals of Marx and Lenin having failed completely, due mainly to human greed and ignorance.
Unlike the U.S.S.R. and China, democratic socialist countries in the world today, like Germany and many other European Union countries are by some definitions employ forms of socialism that follow an electoral, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism, rather than a revolutionary one, and includes forms of socialism compatible with capitalism. There is a link to "Democratic Socialists of America" to the left as well, dear readers, if you would wish to learn more about this fascinating subject. Broadly speaking some have classified democratic socialism as a form of anti-authoritarian "socialism from below." In this definition, it is the active participation of the population as a whole, and workers in particular, in the management of economy that characterizes democratic socialism. In other words a government that is really of the people, and for the people.
To be continued.

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