Saul Alinsky, the Left and the Berniebots

Saul Alinsky, the Left and the Berniebots

NOTE: This was written before Sanders’ upset in Michigan. Update at the end.

Some wise words from Saul Alinsky in 1971, a so-called “hero” of the left.

Effective organization is thwarted by the desire for instant and dramatic change, or as I have phrased it elsewhere the demand for revelation rather than revolution. It’s the kind of thing we see in play writing; the first act introduces the characters and the plot, in the second act the plot and characters are developed as the play strives to hold the audience’s attention. in the final act good and evil have their dramatic confrontation and resolution. The present generation wants to go right into the third act, skipping the first two, in which case there is no play, nothing but confrontation for confrontation’s sake – a flare-up and back to darkness. To build a powerful organization takes time. (my emphasis) It is tedious, but that’s the way the game is played – if you want to play and not just yell, “Kill the umpire.”

Alinsky was a successful community organizer in Chicago back in the day. He wrote books about organizing, his popular book was Rules for Radicals . in 1971. He wrote it as a follow up of his 1946 Reveille for Radicals

The Right slammed Obama for his “Alinskyness,” but he followed his rules and became the first black president. The left would do well to follow Alinksy’s rules.

The left has criticized Obama as a sellout but he made it to President more than likely by that playbook. Now the left has a new hero, Bernie Sanders and they have totally ignored Alinsky’s advice.

In, 2016 34 seats are up in the Senate, 10 for Dems and 24 for republicans. I don’t know what the House numbers are. SO, Are the Berniebots working on the ground to find and run candidates or support Democrats to regain a democratic majority? Are they working in the states where those 24 Republicans are up for re-election?

No. They think by electing Bernie, the revolution will come. They are seeking revelation rather than revolution.

Let’s say Sanders does win the Presidency. Then what? As Congress is currently configured, he’d get nothing done. He’d be a well-intentioned political eunuch.

The fact that Sanders is doing so well in his fight against Clinton I think points to a seismic shift in the Democratic Party. The old guard is on their way out, but many will remain for some time. Unless the Bernie ground troops work on the ground and organize and run candidates of their own. That will take time.

Another thing that Alinsky did was not base his strategy or class or race. He looked to the various disenfranchised groups who really didn’t like each other in Chicago and worked to show them how much they had in common. He used whatever worked. Imagine, a Jewish atheist managed to get the local Catholic churches to help him in his movement.

Sanders, a Jewish atheist,  may think he’s doing that but he’s not. He is stuck in the old lefty morass of the 1960s which alienated rather than bring together disparate groups. He’s working his base rather than reach out. If he somehow wins the nod, he has to reach beyond that base and I don’t think he has the ability to do that.

Oh, and then you have the Berniebots. What a bunch of disphits. I’m a  fan of the site fivethirtyeight which uses statistics and math to figure out the race. It is a very objective place.

So I’m over at 538 and in the live comments Sanders supporters are being insufferable and many are calling them out about. it. The discussion, for the most part is rational and intelligent…except for the Berniebots.



And then there’s this Einstein


There was another that I didn’t get a screen of which said, “I like Bernie Sanders 99% more than I like his supporters.”

UPDATE: The Michigan upset was a great for Sanders. But Clinton’s win in Mississippi negated that win. What it did was keep him in the race. He’s got some friendly states coming up but he needs a delegate catch up.  It’s also not necessarily a portent of things to some. Michigan has an open primary which mean that anyone can vote on any line. So, there is an unknown as to what happened and who voted for who.


Bernie Sanders and his genius staffers

Bernie Sanders and his genius staffers

Look, I’m going to vote for Sanders, but man, the Sanders campaign has some real geniuses working for them.

MSNBC reporter Steve Kornacki asks the fired data guy, Josh Uretsky

If you went into her voter files, if you searched them, if you copied information from them, it basically sounds like you are telling me you are committing, crime is a strong word here, but you are committing the misdeed to prove it’s possible to commit the misdeed.

His response?

Somebody leaves the front door open and you left a note inside the front door saying you left the door open. Then maybe you went and checked the side door, too, to make sure that door was closed.

Seriously? They just didn’t leave a note, they went inside, looked around and then took some items to prove that the front door was open and people could walk in and take stuff.

Incredible. “Your honor, I saw the door was open so I went in and looked around and took some items so I could prove that the door was left wide open and anyone could walk in and steal stuff.”

I think it is safe to say that the DNC have the deck stacked against Sanders, but the way the Sanders campaign is trying to portray themselves as victims in this is nothing short of lame. They blame the vendor for something a staffer did wrong? Sheesh.

The campaign has been handling this badly from the start. First they said it happened but it was done by some clueless low level staffer, when they knew it was Uretsky. Then they said it was brief and as it turns out they were nosing around in there for around 45 minutes. They said nothing was downloaded, then Uretsky admits they did down load stuff.

Having said all that, the DNC is playing dirty by denying the campaign access to data they bought and paid for, which is bullshit. I do think they’re in the tank for Clinton.

I don’t really think this issue is a big deal. It’s not Watergate, but the way the campaign is handling it reeks of amateur, which brings up another I think, salient issue.

Is Sanders can’t gather a politically savvy campaign staff, who will he pick for important positions if he does manage to get elected? It’s one thing to hire The Good, but if they’re idiots, that’s not good.

True delusion: Anti-GMO to put Monsanto on trial in pretend “tribunal” in The Hague

True delusion: Anti-GMO to put Monsanto on trial in pretend “tribunal” in The Hague

Just when you thought the anti-gmo movement couldn’t get anymore delusional, this craziness pops up.  And we’re not talking fringe here. We’re talking some of the main players like professional protester Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association  and the ever popular, international menace, Vandana Shiva.


Jesus H. Christ in chicken basket. No, not any of the actual courts, their own tribunal that will in happen in the Dutch City called The Hague.

The Monsanto Tribunal, which will be held in The Hague from 12 to 16 October 2016, aims to assess these allegations made against Monsanto, and to evaluate the damages caused by this transnational company. The Tribunal will rely on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted at the UN in 2011. It will also assess potential criminal liability on the basis of the Rome Statue that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether a reform of international criminal law is warranted to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense.


When I was a kid I had one of thesecardash

When I was 6 years-old I used to pretend to be able to drive a car.

I nominate the Leroy Pullins’ 1960’s novelty song,  I’m a Nut as the official anthem of the anti-GMO movement



From the archives: A Thanksgiving story of secret generosity

From the archives: A Thanksgiving story of secret generosity

I have to post this again because it looms large in my memory every holiday season.


Another year, another Thanksgiving and holiday season begins. Another year of having the burden of deciding whose food and liquor I can consume without lifting a finger to make any meaningful contribution.

It’s that time of the year when those “New Yorkers of the Week” loom large on NY1. Committing selfless acts, being generous and basically putting themselves out, not just at the holidays but all year long. Man, I hate those people. Don’t get me started on the “Student/Athlete of the Week.”

On top of all that, the City just released stats on how the use of food pantries and soup kitchens have spiked in the last year. Every borough has seen an increase since last year with Staten Island leading the way with a 100% increase.

But that’s not what I what I want to talk about. I want to talk about a few years…er… decades, back when I was a teen. I want to talk about Pinhead Bomberger.

My father owned a small grocery store in small town Pennsylvania. Each year around this time, he would personally make certain grocery deliveries. He made me go with him to help. The groceries were full meals for a family, all the fixin’s, turkey included. It was food for people who couldn’t afford it.

It was weird that the old man was making these deliveries personally. It was even weirder that he dragged me along. I asked on more than once occasion what the deal was, but he would always brush it off saying that it was someone who gave him money and a list of people and said to deliver the groceries.

To this day I can vividly recall the faces and emotions of those people, mostly single mothers, when we showed up at their doors with the food. They were sure there was some mistake. My dad assured them it wasn’t a mistake. When they asked who was responsible my dad would just say, “Santa Claus.” (It worked better when we did the Xmas deliveries, but what the hell?)

They were really thankful to get the food they otherwise wouldn’t have had for the holiday. I remember a few mothers, kids hanging on them, who got tears in their eyes.

Years later, while visiting at Christmas, I decided to ask my dad what that was all about. He said that since the guy was dead, there was no harm in spilling the beans.

This is where Pinhead Bomberger comes in. Bomberger was the German teacher at our high school. He was a real miserable prick. Everyone hated him. His unfortunate moniker “Pinhead” was due to his tiny head.

Dad said that one year Pinhead came to him with a list. It was a list of poor people, about a dozen or so. He wanted to buy them holiday dinners. My father was sworn to secrecy. Under no circumstances were these people to know where it came from. Dad didn’t know where he got the list. Then, as was his way, the old man decided to chip in and sweeten the deal. He added to Pinhead’s list and threw in more food.

Pinhead did that on Thanksgiving and Christmas until he died. The list was always different from year to year.

I asked why he made me go with him when he made those deliveries. He said it was a personal thing and he wanted to have me with him. He also wanted me to know how good I had it; to not take for granted my good fortune. Oh, by the way, did I mention dad was a Republican?

So, what do we take away from this? Is it that you never really know people? What made Pinhead do what he did? He knew he was hated. He could have easily made a big deal out of it, but he didn’t. He insisted on secrecy and the old man took that secret to the grave. I was the only one he told and it was only because I asked.

There are people like us who want to be liked, yet we probably haven’t done very much to help those less fortunate. And when we do it, we make sure people know it. It seems to me Pinhead was a real hero… a real human being.

And speaking of real… his real first name was Harry.

I’m pretty much done with the GMO fight

I’m pretty much done with the GMO fight

There’s a reason this blog has been quiet for a while. I just can’t do it anymore. The idiocy out there is unstoppable. There is a very sad strain of anti-science based on world views on the progressive side that is so ingrained that it is impossible to change.

It’s sad. A technology exists that can benefit the world and all these imbeciles can see is Monsanto.

It’s a campaign run by lefty, anti-science miscreants. “Oh, but I believe in climate change. That doesn’t make me anti-science.”

Yes it does, you fuckwit.

Science is not a democracy. You can’t pick and choose what science you want to believe. Science is based on facts, evidence and repeatability. That has been done with GMO technology.

Progressives are very regressive on this issue. They see it as corporate thing which is how the anti-science miscreants have hustled well-meaning progressives.

There is nothing honest about the anti-GMO groups. They are liars.

The FDA just approved the AquaBounty GMO salmon and already the Center for Food Safety has filed lawsuit that claims it hasn’t been tested. It’s been in the pipeline for 20 fuckin’ years. Hasn’t been tested in 20 years?

Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket. Andrew Kimbrell is a menace. He is leading the charge. Fuck him and all those anti-GMO fuckwits.

Science is progress. It is what has cured common diseases by creating vaccines and therapies. It has helped us. Because some company uses the technology that makes it bad? That’s bullshit.

I have friends who wonder why this issue is so important to me. It’s important because these anti imbeciles can hinder a useful science, not just for food but for medicine. If they can successfully demonize it in food, it can hinder research into the areas.

And finally, I think I’m burying the lede here, they have tried to discredit honest public scientists by using FOIA. Fuck Gary Ruskin. He’s an ideological weasel. He has more in common with the right-wing than he does the honest left.

I’m fighting for a solid science and I am up against a heavily funded anti-science contingent and those groups are coming from the left, not the right.

I can’t fight against it anymore. I just can’t.



My new podcast: Mr. Haney’s Truck

My new podcast: Mr. Haney’s Truck


So, I decided to create a podcast which is totally different than this blog. It will be wide ranging conversations from the curious to the kooky to the actually sane. I am working on getting it up on iTunes and getting the blog to resolve correctly, so because I want it up and out, I have posted the first episode on YouTube and here.

I’m new to the whole audio thing and haven’t sat behind a microphone in decades. There are some audio issues involving volume in this first episode and I am always open to helpful hints and criticism.

The first episode is the first part of a two-part conversation with New York City novelist Arthur Nersesian whose 11 books use NYC as a backdrop. We are old friends and he agreed to be the guinea pig for this first episode. The second part will be uploaded next Sunday Nov. 22nd.

I have a feeling it might freak some people out who like this blog since some episodes, which I have planned are going to talk about stuff that is, is well, can we say, “high strangeness?”

When it all gets sorted out the podcast site will be


Folta, FOIA and USRTK in 200 words

Folta, FOIA and USRTK in 200 words

Dr. Kevin Folta, non-GMO scientist does science outreach regarding the issue of GMOs. He speaks about the science of GMOs and how his audiences can better communicate that science.

Anti-GMO group, US Right to Know (USRTK) files FOIA request in search of collusion between Dr. Kevin Folta and Monsanto.

They find that Monsanto awarded University of Florida $25K to aid in Folta’s outreach. No money for his research, no salary given to him personally. Money used for travel expenses.

Anti-GMO crowd goes bat shit crazy, scream “Shill,” think they have uncovered the smoking gun. Folta is doing Monsanto’s dirty work. They see ginormous conspiracy.

Did Folta start delivering a different message after receiving the $25K? No. What Monsanto did was fund him to continue doing what he was already doing.

To the anti-GMO crowd, this is evil. The response has been death threats and harassment.

In the meantime, USRTK takes $114K from the anti-GMO activist group, the Organic Consumers Association to fund their work. They’re supposed to be the honest guys?

It is time for all science minded progressives to stand up and denounce the tactics of the anti-GMO movement.  This type of despicable behavior can’t be condoned.

A quick apology

A quick apology



Boy, did I get into hot water recently with this post, The Contrarian jerks his knee and regrets it. In a protracted Twitter imbroglio I got hammered by the people involved. The post was interpreted as a slam at women and that was not my intention.

Then the swell @julie_kelly2 took offense at my jocular use of the word “chicks.” So what did I do?  I drunkenly appended the post and channeled Donald Trump and wrote a very juvenile retort about crazy cat ladies. I have since removed it and am supremely embarrassed and I apologize profusely.

I was challenged to attend the event and took them up on their offer and was received warmly and had a genuinely good time.  I came away with a better understanding of what’s what. That doesn’t mean I’m 100% on board, but it did flesh out my knee jerk knee jerk

These days, I rarely get myself into a position where I have to wince, feel embarrassed and have to apologize. This was one of those times and it sucks big time. I thought I had banished those bastard emotions shame and embarrassment. I guess not.

In the next few days I will post about my experience in D.C. and expand and revise my remarks. In the meantime I want to say thanks for the invite.

Until then, to those who I offended, and you know who you are, accept my heartfelt apologies.



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