Sunday, April 23, 2017

“Being Polite” versus “Being Nice”; what is the difference for a debater?

“Being Polite” versus “Being Nice”; what is the difference for a debater?
I would like to add my two cents to the debate about “party unity”, “censorship”, “Facebook rude posts”, etc.

1. People keep confusing “being polite” with “being nice”.
“Being polite” means – no any physical encounter, no offensive words, no name calling, etc., and REQUIRED by the law.

“Being nice” means – “do not tell me what might upset me”. And there is NO law which requires people to be nice.
An imaginary conversation.
"You should not tell me this".
"Because it makes me feel sad".
"You should not tell me this"!
"Because it makes me feel sad"!!
"Why should I care about how you feel?"
"Because ...
you need to be nice!"
"Because! ... I'm leaving! You are impossible!"

If someone gets so easily upset, that one just should not go even close to politics (or management, or any professional field, really: for more follow to

2. The more debates take place the better. Censoring posts on the ground “I disagree with it”, or “this makes me feel bad” only leads to pushing people out of THIS place of the debate, but not out of the debate.  
People will not stop thinking what they are thinking, but will find other venues to express it (for example, by voting for Trump). 
In the long run, that is exactly what we need these days – we (democrats, progressives) need to get separated ("give each other a space"), give time to different groups to get a better, clearer understanding who wants what and who is who, and what they really want. Then those different factions, groups, "cliques", would be able to find a common ground.
To the advocates of censorship "because it cuts fake news" - (a) if you cannot see which news is fake, you should not go into politics; (b) if you afraid people would be influenced by fake news you should offer your counter-opinion; (c) make sure that for you "fake news" is not just something "I don't like it".

3. At some point, everyone will need to make a decision: am I BY the movement, or IN the movement (does not depend on what movement)?

BY the movement means – providing types of support – verbal, monetary, etc.

IN the movement means – allocating a certain amount of time on various political actions. Among those actions, #1 is education themselves on the laws governing social changes.

For better or worse, Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital” became the theoretical foundation of the following social revolutions (many!).

For a "progressivist", the theoretical foundation is “Saving Capitalism” by Robert B. Reich.

Read, think, discuss, plan, act.

Or, offer another book!
Your (and mine, many of us) twits and Facebook posts do NOT represent a solid logical theoretical foundation for the actions needed to do "Our Revolution".

Let us be clear – without deep understanding of the true reasons for the country getting to the current social, political, economic state, the fate of any movement (all movements) will be the same as the fate of the “Occupy Wall-Street” - gradual decline and dissolving.

4. Bernie Sanders said It wasn't that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election”

BTW: he said it five month after the election day; I said the same right after it (, but the difference is – no one cares what I say, Bernie’s every word gets scrutinized from right and left.
After Sanders said it, there is no turning back. Now everyone inside and outside of the Dem Party has to express his or her position toward the statement: agree, disagree, not sure, or ignore (acting like he has never said it).Arguing about the meaning of this statement is just useless
This type of a statement cannot be logically proved or disapproved; it is a belief-based statement - like "aliens, a.k.a. ETs exist". One can say that the universe is so vast, and there are signs of aliens visiting the Earth, so they exists. Or one can say there are no facts (bodies, machinery) proving the alien existence, hence they don't.

5. Politics needs knowledge and logic; political actions need time, effort, and SLOGANS!

6.  An ice cube in a freezer remains an ice cube as long as it remains in a working freezer. What will happen if one cuts the power cord, or just opens the door and keeps it opened for a long time? Ice turns into water (hopefully, no one has doubts about this). This is just an example of how external conditions, a.k.a. environment, affects properties of a system. It works for any system and any environment.
Four words:
describe the drastic change in the social and economical environment of all countries in the world. 
That is why all countries now are "melting".
What will they turn into?
(a). no one really knows
(b). everyone has a chance to push it in a direction one likes - and eventually the melting social and political structures will take the new stable form. 
What form?
No one really knows.
Can be ANYTHING (democracy, fascism, you name it).
7. Confusion between "polite" and "nice" is not confined by politics, one can see it in science, in business, basically everywhere where people talk. In politics it is called "political correctness", in other spheres it may be called "rudeness", or "cynicism". Unfortunately, this confusion presents a huge obstacle to forging an effective collaboration.

Why did Hillary Clinton Lose the Race? Or. Conformism and Arrogance of The Establishment. And. What To Do Now?

Today’s Democratic Party

(this post originally was published a week after the election day, but after Senator Sanders said: “It wasn't that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election” I decided to re-post it.)

1. My first president was an idealist dreaming of a perfect society.
My second president was a power-grabbing irrationally acting drunk.
My third president was a former low level army spy.
In a case, you did not recognize them, they were Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, and Vladimir Putin.
When I realized that my third president was becoming my last president I moved in the U.S.
I never would have thought to have again “Boris Yeltsin” as my president (only speaking English and not drinking).
Of course, I am very disappointed with this. However, as a scientist I find a relief in knowing that social forces do obey social laws in a way very similar to physical forces obey physical laws.
Despite the popular belief, Trump’s victory WAS predictable (all pollsters – go back to school).
What happened on November 8, 2016 was a bloodless revolution of a certain type, called a mob revolution.
It was not the first mob revolution known in the history of mankind (but one of the few of bloodless, at least so far).
Two of the most well-known are: the French Revolution of 1789-1790 (, and the Russian Bolshevik coup of 1917 (
The designer of the Bolshevik coup Vladimir Lenin studied the French Revolution (among many other studies) and wrote books on the matter. Then he successfully used his theory to design and to organize the coup.
Those books have been available in many languages for about a century. In different countries, many Marxists extremists used them successfully to take over a power. The theory works like a clock! But only under certain conditions (like any scientific theory). To win a power takeover organizers have to ride a wave of a deep populace disappointment and to direct it into actions (hopefully, just a massive voting turnout). That deep populace disappointment happens when the social establishment concentrates all energy on an internal power struggle and loses touch with the needs and feelings of common folks.
All mob revolutions had been based on a frustration masses felt due to economic downturns in the countries. People felt tricked, lied upon, neglected, exploited and powerless. As the result, they embraced leaders with strong rhetoric and simple solutions. “The system is rigged, those … (rich, Jews, intelligent, foreign powers, immigrants, …) are our enemies, we have to destroy them, demolish the system, and start from scratch”. “The International” (the hymn of Socialists and later Communists of the 19th and 20th centuries) has these words: 
“Stand up, damned of the Earth
Stand up, prisoners of starvation
Reason thunders in its volcano
This is the eruption of the end.
Of the past let us make a clean slate”.
The latter line describes the typical emotion of people who have been feeling frustration for a long time. When negative emotions have been brewing for a long time, eventually logic just gets shot off. People just don’t care anymore about current social structures and what to crash them. It is like a movie detective who has to let go a criminal and in frustration brakes his beloved coffee mug against a wall.
If Clinton’s people read the books and knew the theory, they would be on guard and would be able to develop the right strategy to curb Trump’s enthusiasm.
But that exactly is the problem. Neither Clinton nor her team were able to step outside of a circle of traditional views on politics.
2. All those pundits, political scientists, sociologists, media analytics professionals, think tank members, pollsters, etc. have to admit that they have no idea how to access populace mood and how to predict populace behavior in extraordinary social circumstances. The current school of polling has completely failed.
One of many pollsters said today on a radio: “Clinton’s numbers were within the margin of error”. Another one said: “Evidently, many of those who did not show any indication to vote, voted for Trump.”
If the “margin of error” included the losing scenario, did you warn your client? Did you even know that the losing scenario was within the “margin of error”? Did you consider a scenario with a large percentage of hidden voters? Did your polls show a possibility of the last-minute voters? Did you even try to assess how many last-minute voters might exist? Questions can – and should – go on and on.
Right after Trump’s nomination it has become extremely clear that this election is far from regular, the social landscape is highly abnormal. It should have become self-evident (like it has now) that current technologies of social predictions work only for regular social events and cannot help with analyzing this race. Instead of asking "Who will you vote for?", right questions would be "What do you talk about when you are in a bar with your friends?", "What are your fears?", "Describe the leader you want to see in the WH?", etc. The problem is that no one from social-analytical establishment – on both sides – really saw how distorted the social landscape was, hence no one tried to developed methods which could capture those hidden abnormalities and irregularities. Well, now they have four years to figure it out.
3. For the Democrats this loss is the result of “a failure of imagination”. November 8 2016 is Democrats’ 9/11.
Number 1 reason for this loss is the arrogance of the Democratic establishment. They saw how Trump just broke the establishment of the Republicans, but they didn’t believe that this could happen to them, they didn’t even consider this option (instead of thinking “I know I am right” they should have asked a question “What if I am wrong?”). That is why they didn’t try to listen to Trump supporters, didn’t really try to understand their motives, just dismissed them as “deplorables”. If they did, maybe they would see that in addition to “deplorables” there was – and still is – (a) a layer of people who felt tired of hard living and just wanted to feel for once as a winner (sport team psychology); (b) a layer of people who felt ignored and wanted to feel relevant (teenager psychology); (c) a layer of people who did not want to be pushed to vote for Hillary merely because “Trump is bad” (rebellious psychology: you want me to do this – here is the opposite!).
Currently I am an Independent.
During the Primaries, I voted Democratic. I was walking to the voting booth ready to vote for Hillary. I loved Bernie Sanders, but I knew he had no chance to get the nomination. And in the last second with a pen in my hand I changed my mind and voted for him. Yesterday I voted for Hillary. But I am sure that lots of people just could not force themselves to vote for her. We will discuss soon why couldn’t they do it. But the fact of the matter is that no one in the democratic camp even thought of this possibility and hence no one even tried to work with it.
Arrogance results in rejecting any ideas which do not belong to an established set of views. That is why Hillary’s team has been using the same old playbook used by Obama. I do not watch news on a regular basis. Lately, when I did – randomly and sporadically – I saw Trump and crowds of people speaking out, or I saw Hillary on a stage with celebrities. If you see these images again and again you get an impression of who is with people and who is above. But Hillary’s team did not try to dig into a psychology of undecided voters. They just kept pushing the “bad Trump” agenda.
We – humans – love our independence, we do not like to be forced into something to do, even if that is for our own benefit (ever tried to make your kid to eat green stuff?). We want to be convinced, not forced. We do want to feel as a winner. If we feel frustrated for a long time our logic just gets shot off. We react like a movie detective who has to free a criminal and brakes his beloved coffee mug against a wall. We just stop caring about consequences of our actions. We just want to break something to feel just a little bit better, do something unexpected, out of order – to feel power again. And this part of human psychology is very well known. However, even when the polls showed a big and sudden (!) drop for Hillary, which was a clear indicator of something unexpected, her team did not try anything from the outside of the playbook they used.
You cannot treat unexpected using methods established for well expected cases.
Arrogance results in surrounding yourself only with people with whom you feel yourself comfortable, which means, talking only to people who confirm your views. During my Russia days, I watched Putin’s closest advisers expressing views almost opposite to the boss’s. Maybe it was just a play, but maybe it was a deliberate politics. What I see around me now is a strong motivation to avoid any disagreement. No one wants to have any discussion if there is a chance to be criticized. Everyone wants to talk only to people with whom one feels comfortable. Conformism within Democratic establishment is the real reason of “a failure of imagination”. But the same conformism has taken place in all social establishment strata, including government, science, education. People within the same circle do not argue with each other, do not criticize each other – that would mean for them that they do not belong to the same circle. The only arguing these days, or years, is happening between opposing camps.
This division is clear when you watch or read news media. Different media outlets have very different audiences, which do not talk to each other. For more than a year late show hosts laughed at Trump, mocked him and his supporters, but for the last couple of months they’ve been communicating to the same group of people, who made their mind a long time ago (hence, didn’t help to grow the number of Hillary’s voters). These hosts also mocked Hillary, but for her singing, or dancing, or dressing. No one mocked her for not trying to step out of her circle and to reach out to people with unorthodox ideas.
Because no one wants to hear unorthodox ideas.
Because that would require unorthodox thinking (a.k.a. thinking).
Much easier to rely on names.
If a big fish establishment name says or writes something – we publish or promote it.
The result is – The Boston Globe (just as an example) has not published any interesting view, any unexpected opinion, any unusual examination, because who would read something extraordinary (a.k.a. outside of ordinary), if the most of the readers represent that establishment which representatives got published in The Boston Globe?
4. Republican establishment did not see a large stratum of people who brought Trump to the win. Democratic establishment did not see the same stratum of people who could bring Hillary to the win. That stratum is not composed of the obvious Trump supporters, who truly believe in his ability to build the wall, who hate minorities, LGBT, and abortions.
A typical representative of this “hidden” social stratum said on a radio, that her brother is a gay, in her school they have and love many people from minorities and immigrants. Why did she vote for Trump? Because she felt ignored. Establishment was busy solving their own problems and simple folks got neglected, left on their own.
The meaning of this is simple:
(A) If I vote for Trump it does not mean I am a bigot or hate immigrants.
(B) My vote for Trump is me screaming – I’m hurting and I want to be noticed!
The first statement represents a form of a psychological escape tactic – by doing this (voting for Trump) I do not do anything immoral.
The second statement is the expressions of fears and feeling of being trapped and helpless. Those fears come from many sources, like dying local economy, stagnated wages, rising cost of leaving, seeing other social forces growing up in power (yes –immigrants taking jobs, minorities whose life matters). Hence – revolt against the current status quo; the current system does not work, we need to break it.
Vladimir Lenin wrote books and successfully used his theory to organize and to win the Bolshevik coup of 1917. I doubt that Trump’s or Hillary’s teams read those books (which is another sign of being conventional). But Trump was following his gut feeling, replaced his team three times searching for people with similar gut feeling, and who, like him, were able to think outside of the ordinary set of ideas (for good of for bad). Hillary relied on people using the same old strategy, which was her own strategy.
Arrogance of Hillary Clinton pushed her to enter the race. Then her arrogance made her say: “We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought”. This is just silly (at the minimum). We all have clearly seen the big division in the country. Hillary did it, too. But she hoped that this division would be in her favor. That did not happen.
Arrogance of the Democratic establishment led to nominating the worst possible candidate.
Party culture led to that no other valid candidate, including Biden (!), risked to challenge Hillary’s party rank. Only one outsider stepped in, but due to arrogance of the party apparatus he was outmaneuvered. And even with all this arrogance Hillary still had a chance to win, if she and her team would be able to step outside of the playbook they used for the campaign. Instead they just have been running ahead like horses with blinders (in this case a narrow-sightedness is worse than a short-sightedness; hope this explains the picture – this how
I see today’s Democratic party).
5. Whose fault is it? What do we do now? (Two beloved Russian unanswered questions)
Previous parts of this piece answered the first question.
The answer to the second one comes automatically.
Everyone who cares about the future has to become an active Democrat.
Has to participate in all local party events.
Has to vote out all current selected party officials and replace them with new ones.
Remember the lady on a radio who voted because she felt ignored and neglected?
I bet she has not been voting for a long time, she did not go to primaries or local elections. She did not want to participate in routine social activities, did not want to read various analytical articles and to participate in lengthy discussions. All she and many others want is having “a strong and fair king” who would make all important decisions to make their life better but without making them to participate.
Well, everyone who cares about the future needs to do just the opposite.
That lady also represents “whites without college degrees” who brought Trump to a victory. She does not see the big disconnect in her own logic. Yes, she personally is not a bigot and does not hate immigrants. But she elected a person who on his own just incapable of being a good political manager (yes – this statement is based on personal view of “political management” and facts about Trump). Hence, like it has happened in the history of mankind many times before, he will be an object of constant manipulation. He will not be managing the country, but his circle of influence will (among so many historic examples, check this one about Grigori Rasputin:
But to see that, one needs to know a history, and to know basics of political management, and just management, and just be able to derive relatively long logical conclusions, and act upon facts and reason instead of upon emotions.
All these skills come from good education.
All these skills come only from good education.
This is why the 2016 Presidential elections has been a testament of the U.S. educational system.
This is why the number one goal for all activists across the country should be fighting for making education great! (not again, though, because so far it has not been great, so – just great).

Here is more old posts on the matter:

This post has some more specifics on what to do:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

a Short Letter to Jon Ossoff (the principles for moving ahead the progressive agenda)

Mr. Ossoff,

Today I got an email from Tom Perez (please, scroll down for the letter).
He asked me to send him some money to help you to win the election.

First, I want to congratulate you on your spectacular result, indeed!

And second, instead of money, I am sending to you a more valuable gift – a protocol toward your victory (each slogan needs an unambiguous and memorable pictorial representation).
Your priorities are perfect. But some people need more than that. They need clear statements which make sense to them – slogans.
Using these slogans, you will win the seat.

1. “Restore the American promise!”
“I promise to you that together we will restore the American promise!”

N.B. It is exactly what you are trying to do, so no need to pretend.
But more importantly, that is exactly what America has lost over the last two decades.
Gradually, slowly, little by little, it has become harder and harder for regular folks to maintain a decent life for their families. This goes to whites and none-whites, rural and urban folks.

2. “Make America fair for ALL!”
“Fairness should not depend on wealth!”
"Same Constitution for ALL!"
“We need to bring back American values: fairness for all, opportunities for everyone, people-centered economy, strong communities, kindness, honesty, and human decency.”

3. “Politics for people is politics withoutlying!”
“Do not let yourself be dragged into the fog of lies! When Republicans have nothing to say they lie and lie and lie!”
“Do not trust angry yellers, rely on your common sense!”
“A difficult problem has no simple solution! If someone promises you a quick fix, it is “the chees in a mouse trap!”
“Republicans are pouring tar of lies on me and all free thinkers! Don’t let that tar stick to you”.

4. “Democracy is the goal. The party is just an instrument!”
“Yes, I am a democrat, but I am a new democrat, I am an independent democrat, and I am a pragmatic democrat. Besides Obamacare, what else have Democrats achieved? Obamacare is not perfect, but no one sent a bill to improve it. Taxes effectively funnel our money from us to the rich. But Democrats didn’t dare to touch the tax code because it was “too toxic”. Little by little too many Democrats forgot why people elected them. And I will remind them about that! We - new Democrats - will reform the Democratic party from the inside!”

5. “Stop talking about what to do. Start doing!”
“The first things we – new democrats – will do are the tax reform which will benefit the middle class; the bill to fix the Obamacare and start the transition to the single payer insurance, … .”

6. “Abolish economic slavery!”
“Ten percent of Americans own three quarters of total American wealth! They force ninety percent of Americans to struggle for one quarter of what those folks make. 13 % off all American households are in debt! Imagine, you and 99 others together run a business. At the end of the year your business generated $1000,000 in profit. Out of 100 people who worked together, 10 people take $75,000 each, you and 76 more people take about $3300 each (which is about twenty-five times less!), and 13 people get nothing. This how America works today.
America made a full circle! Today America again has barons who own the most of the country, and the rest who generates the wealth which the barons take for granted! Today 90 % of Americans wear chains of economic slavery.”

7. “The rich bent the rules, we will bend them back!”
“1 % of American population controls one third of the total American wealth! How did it happen?
The rich did not break any rules, they slowly bent the rules in their favor using Republicans as their puppets. We need to bend the rules back. We need to take the governing power back, and make it work in the favor of the working folks.”

8. “Share wealth fair!”
“Our goal is the new optimization of wealth allocation! Sound fancy, but describes a simple idea: working folks need to take back their fair share of what they produce.
For thousands of years some people have been producing wealth, and other people have been deciding who gets what. Ancient Egypt - slaves and a pharaoh; middle centuries France – peasants and a king. American Constitution established that all people have equal rights for a fair share of the wealth. But the Constitution does not write the rules. People write the rules. And over the last two decades those rules have been greatly beneficial for a few and depressive for the rest. During the last ten years, the U.S. Federal Reserve added to the market about “$4.5 trillion worth of assets“ (! They called it “quantitative easing”, but essentially, it was just printing money and giving it away. If the average wage of 90 % of Americans has not changed, where did those $4.5 trillion go?

N.B. a must-read book on the matter for everyone in a progressive camp is “Saving Capitalism”, by Robert B. Reich.
FYI: after your victory, please pass theses slogans to the next new Democrat.

Mr. Ossoff, do not get sucked into “he said, she said” debates. Just tell your story!

Good Luck!

Dr. Valentin Voroshilov




“In 2007, the richest 10 percent of U.S. households owned over 71 percent of total household wealth; in 2013 they owned almost 75 percent.”

This chart shows, that since 2013 one tenth of the American population owns three quarters of total American wealth! They make ninety percent of Americans to struggle for one quarter of what they make.

A letter form Tom Perez.

Friend --

For 38 years, Georgia's 6th congressional district has been a deep shade of red.

That means that after each of the past 20 elections, a Republican has gone to Congress who wouldn't fight for affordable health care, wouldn't stand up to protect the right to vote, and wouldn't demand a fair, livable wage.

On June 20th, we have the chance to change all that by sending Jon Ossoff to Congress. But to break nearly four decades of precedent, he's going to need all the help we can give him.

Can you split a $10 donation between Jon Ossoff and the DNC to help elect Democrats in Georgia and all across the country? 

I know Jon, and I know he's someone who cares about the people of Georgia's 6th district. He got into this race because he believes, in the words of his mentor John Lewis, in getting in "good trouble" to create change. In a Congress that has become paralyzed by partisan gridlock, I know Jon will be a breath of fresh air.

Jon put up an impressive display in yesterday's primary, but now he needs all of us with him to win again in just 62 days. Pitch in $10 or more today to help elect Jon Ossoff and Democrats like him across the country.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dear Senator Sanders, Thank you for your letter

Dear Senator Sanders,
Thank you for your letter (scroll down to the copy of the letter),
Let me make a couple of points which are very important for me.
1. your team lost.
Twice! (the nomination, and the election)
I would like to know your take on this fact – why do you think this happened, what lessons should we all learn from this?
2. Based on your answers to question 1, what do you think should be the Party’s strategy for winning 2018 elections? I mean, besides touring and promoting your Our Revolution platform – which is very good, I have nothing against it, except I do not see how would Democrats be able to realize it - so, please, help me see!
You say that we need to elect right people in the Congress. Isn’t this always a case? I bet in 2016 we did not want to elect wrong people; all people who lost elections also were “right” – right? But lost! Why? How are new people better than the ones who lost?
What I am waiting for to hear from Senator Sanders is something like this: "This is what I demand from the Democratic leadership: 1, 2, 3, ... . If by the end of July I will not see it, I take my Our Revolution movement and form the third party."
Well, I have much more questions to ask, but these two are the most pressing ones.
Hope to hear from you soon again – but not your generic call, your specific strategy.
Good luck,
P.S. regarding the money, please read this:

Dear Valentin,
With Trump's election, we live in a pivotal moment in American history. This country will either move in the direction of an authoritarian government where the rich get richer and everyone else gets poorer, or we will successfully fight back and build a strong grassroots movement to create a government which represents all of us, not just Donald Trump and others in the billionaire class.
That's the struggle we now face. No one can sit on the sidelines. Not now. The only way we win is when we stand together and fight back. I need your help to do that.
The bad news is that Trump's agenda – huge tax breaks for billionaires, enormous increases in military spending, massive cuts in health care and programs that protect the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, horrific attacks on environmental protection and scapegoating the immigrant community – constitutes the most reactionary set of policies in the modern history of our country.
The good news is that the resistance to this extremist Trump/Republican agenda is growing rapidly. We saw that as millions participated in the Women's March in January. We saw that as hundreds of thousands attended rallies and town meetings in February and March to successfully defeat the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act and throw 24 million Americans off of their health insurance. We are seeing that now as people across the country are mobilizing for Green Day events to take on the fossil fuel industry, combat climate change and transform our energy system to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
When we launched our presidential campaign two years ago, I told you that victory would require the active participation of millions of Americans in every community across the country. That it would require nothing short of a political revolution to combat the demoralization so many feel about the political process. That's what I believed then. That's what I believe now. And that's what I am attempting to do.
During the last several months I have visited a number of states where Donald Trump won. My message: working people must not support a president and a party beholden to powerful special interests and the top 1 percent. We cannot support a party which wants to divide us up by race, gender, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.
I was in Wisconsin where progressives are determined to overcome the Trump victory in that state and elect candidates who, in 2018, will stand with working people and not the 1 percent. I was in Kansas where, in one of the most conservative states in the country, over 5,000 people attended a progressive rally in Topeka. I was in Mississippi, a state today heavily dominated by the Republican Party, where brave workers in the auto industry are fighting for a union. I was in West Virginia, where Trump won a landslide victory, but where many people are beginning to rethink the wisdom of that decision.
And next week I am going back on the road, visiting areas of the country often ignored by Democrats. I will be in Maine, Kentucky, Florida, Nevada, Nebraska, Utah and Arizona. I will be talking about the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that we face and the need for the rich to start paying their fair share of taxes. I will discuss the Medicare-for-all, single-payer legislation that I will soon be introducing. I will urge people to join the Fight for $15 minimum wage struggle to make sure all Americans enjoy a living wage. I will ask people across the country to help us create millions of jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. I will explain the need to aggressively move forward for comprehensive immigration reform and why we must immediately fix our broken criminal justice system.
But I can’t do it alone.
Please attend the rallies in your area. Please work with me to revitalize American democracy and advance the political revolution.
Like I said from the beginning, our political revolution was never about one candidate. It was about creating a mass movement for real change in this country. That's the struggle we began. That's the struggle we'll continue. No turning back now.
In solidarity,
Bernie Sanders

What should really differ a “Progressive” from a “Conservative”?

What should really differ a “Progressive” from a “Conservative”?
What should really differ a “Progressive” from a “Conservative”?
Please note: this post has a joke, to skip the post and go directly to the joke just scroll down!
“Republicans are against science!”
“Republicans consider ignorance to be a bliss!”
“Republicans do not want people to learn”
“Democrats represent the completely opposite approach to knowledge, to science, to education!”
OK.Let us assume that all those statements are correct.
In that case, this is a very important piece of knowledge every politically active knowledge-lover should have:
emotions always cloud our decision, and in too many cases emotions govern our decision.
A quote from Wikipedia (or you can Google “How emotions affect decisions” and chose whatever source you like):
“An emotional bias is a distortion in cognition and decision making due to emotional factors.
That is, a person will be usually inclined
· to believe something that has a positive emotional effect, that gives a pleasant feeling, even if there is evidence to the contrary.
· to be reluctant to accept hard facts that are unpleasant and give mental suffering.”
A more detailed consideration is at  
In simple words, it means that when we hear or read something, and if it makes us feel “bad”, especially if we start feeling “bad about ourselves” we tend to reject whatever we hear or read (and v-v).
At first, our brain makes the emotional judgement – “this is bad”, and then immediately follows a “logical” one – “this is wrong’. The emotional judgement happens deep inside in our mind, uncontrollably, subconsciously, and the rest of the energy is being used to develop a “logical” support around it.
Ten years ago, such knowledge would have been available only to a very tight circle of researchers in the field. Today anyone can easily find it on the Internet.
Of course, not everyone needs to have this particular knowledge.
I would suggest, however, that people who make certain claims about other people statements (in person, or on Facebook), need to be able to go beyond just “I like it”, or “I don’t like it”. Especially people who see themselves as the opposite of “those so much hated, stupid, ignorant Republicans”.
Because, anyone who does just one thing – provides an emotional judgement, but cannot offer nothing more to support it, or to logically disprove the opposite statement – is not really different in his or her actions, approaches, tactics from “those so much hated, stupid, ignorant Republicans”.
The true difference is not in the ideals and beliefs, but in the actions undertaken for supporting those ideals and beliefs.
And again, all I want to do is to point at writings on the mater provided by very smart people.
Karl Popper ( is one of those people. One of his famous books “The Open Society and Its Enemies” ( presents a detailed account on how good ideas may lead to bad social results.
In short, when people accept an idea of some “ideal world” without any critical analysis, i.e. dogmatically, eventually they tend to reject every other idea which is incoherent with the “big idea”, and people who offer other ideas become treated as wrong, and as the enemies of the “ideal world” (and those people are needed to be destroyed).
I know, this is a gross simplification of the Popper’s views, but good enough to make a point.
In the end, the true big difference between people with different political views is not the views they have, but – if they treat those views dogmatically, or if they allow some critical reasoning.
So, if anyone writes on Facebook (or anywhere else): “I don’t like this!” - that is absolutely fine. But if that statement is related to a potential political action (not about food, clothes, etc.), a responsible Democrat should be able to add “Because of 1, 2, 3, ...”
Similarly, if anyone writes on Facebook (or anywhere else): “I like this!” that is also absolutely fine. But if that statement is related to a potential political action, a responsible Democrat should also be able to add “Because of 1, 2, 3, ...”

But developing and laying out logical arguments (a.k.a. reasoning) is as a job as any other job – requires a certain amount of practicing. The first step is just to start trying (like the first step to learn how to ride a bicycle is to start riding a bicycle). People who do that, propel themselves beyond just emotional judgement. But not everyone wants to do that (although – everyone CAN!).
Some time ago I had a Facebook chat with a lady, who attended a so called “Resistance School” ( Long story short, eventually I asked her to write to me and everyone else one page of the summary from what she learned with a focus on what mistakes have been done in 2016 (according to her, it was covered in the “school”). At this point she told me that she needs to take care of kids, family, job, and she has no time for doing this. Since she has time to drive to the “school”, listen to the speakers, talk to other participants, drive back, and then chat about it on Facebook, I assumed that she rather did not want to do it (“no time” is just an excuse). I do understand that for the lady, attending the “school” plaid a very important role by giving her an emotional support, by having her being surrounded by people with similar views, by helping her to make sense from the 2016 loss and the current politics. But a small extra step, like writing one summary page, would make this whole experience even more valuable, more practical, more actionable (BTW: a true school always assigns homework! Since the videos are freely available at some point I will listen to them, usually I use a traffic jam for this purpose).
The willingness to make that extra step, to go beyond an emotional judgement, and to offer some reasoning to support his or her opinion (or to dismantle somebody else’s opinion) – that is what (in my view) separates a true Progressive from a Conservative.
So, I spent hours, and I wrote a long post about the importance of reasoning in politics. What’s in it for me?
There is a joke I learned many years ago when I was a physics undergrad.
Scientists study if monkeys can solve problems. In a big glass cage they planted a tree and placed a banana on a top branch. A monkey enters the cage and sees the banana. It jumps, but the banana is too high. It tries to clime the tree, but there is a very slippery plastic wrap around it. It looks around, finds a long stick and uses it to hit the banana down. Success! Then the researchers prepare the tree for the next experiment, place the banana on a top branch, but leave for a lunch. A hungry physics student sees the banana. He jumps, but the banana is too high. He tries to clime the tree, but there is a very slippery plastic wrap around it. The student starts shaking the tree, but the banana does not fall down. The researches come back from a lunch and see a student shaking a tree. After watching for a while one guy says via the intercom: “Hey, have you tried to think?” And the student says: “I’m not stupid. F@#k thinking! Just has to shake it harder!”
When I read something like: “Senator Sanders is on a tour! Donate $3!” I always remember that joke.
I fail to see the logical connection between the two parts of the statement. Does Senator Sanders need some extra money to buy airplane tickets, or to rent a car, or to stay in a hotel? It looks to me that people who sent this email think that I am no smarter than the student in the joke. All they want from me is “keep shaking”.
However, when I look at the current state of affairs, to me it looks that the Democrats (most of the top ones) are just “keep shaking a tree”.
In 2016 I trusted in the ability of the top Democrats to see the social, economic, and political landscape of the Country, and to design the appropriate strategy. Close to the October I started having deep doubts, because the whole campaign has been built on a trivial slogan: “Trump is bad! I am good!”. I knew that that would not work; and I was not the only one, for example, Michael Moor and Bill Maher expressed similar views. But no one at the top wanted to hear anything different from their own views. And Trump won.
“Fool me once, shame on you”, right? The thing is I do not want to be fooled the second time. I lost my trust in the ability of the Democratic party leaders to design the correct strategy to win next elections. But I still have a hope they may come around. My hope is thinning every day.
All I hear is “We will fight!” I have no doubts in that. I have doubts when I hear “We will win!”
Well, Democrats, you did not win the last time. And you treat your loss like nothing special, like one pro-football team lost another one.
In realty, your loss is like a pro-football team lost to a bunch of guys who has never plaid football and who just has met each other. And you are trying to make an impression that nothing went wrong, it was just a fluctuation. “Look, we won the popular vote!” Yes, you did, which means you could have won the whole thing, BUT you did not, which makes things even worse for your ability to deliver.
In 2016 Democrats did not use the money wisely ( They dreamed that people would see how bad Trump was and would not vote for him. Now they dream that people would see how bad Trump really is and will not vote for him. So, six months passed since the election day, but the Democratic leadership has not offered ANYTHING new in its strategy.
I do not believe that a complicated problem has a simple solution. I do not trust people who say that. And I definitely do not trust people who failed but do not want to talk about it.
Democrats, if you could not do it right in 2016, and keep doing old same old same in 2017, why would I give you any money? You will lose again, anyway!
For years, I have been voting democratic but remained an independent. A couple of weeks after Trump won I registered as a Democrat. I did not do it because I liked the Democrats. On the contrary, I did it because I did not like the way they acted in 2016 elections and wanted to see from the inside if the new leadership would show the signs of being able to make changes the party needs.
SO, I am observing, and thinking, and writing, and waiting.
If I will not see from the leadership clear signs that they know how to win the next elections (and I need a proof!), I will be doing what millions of people have done on November 9, 2016 – switching to the third party.
And yes, top Democrats – this IS a threat.
And yes – there are millions of us who are not trusting in just slogans (I am just a sample from that army), and whose vote will decide the next elections.
And the next. And the next. How do I KNOWit? I reason!
If Democrats will not be capable of being true Progressives (in time to 2018 elections), people who make decisions using logical arguments will have to put their efforts together and form a new, the first truly third, political party (I hope you would also read other posts available on the blog).
P.S. This is a link to a nice example of an exchange “logic” vs. “who are you?:
P.P.S. some introduction into practice of arguing:
P.P.S. FYI - when I write what I think, I do not want to make every reader to agree with me, or to switch someone into thinking like me. All I want is to find people who (a) have similar views and willing to express it, or (b) have different views and willing to offer a reasonable critique of my ideas. People who just call me names do not affect me.