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Posts Tagged ‘democratic socialism’

Hey Kids! Here’s Presidential Candidate and Old Jewish Man Bernie Sanders’ 1987 Folk Album!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on September 3, 2015

Heeb Magazine broke this story, and it’s reprinted here:

Hey Kids! Here’s Presidential Candidate and Old Jewish Man Bernie Sanders’ 1987 Folk Album!
Yo Semite August 30, 2015

Bernie Sanders is having a pretty great summer. The crotchety senator from Vermont is not only riding a wave of popularity unmatched by anything in his career thusfar, but according to recent polls, his presidential campaign is, amazingly, improbably, starting to close within striking distance of Democratic dauphin, Hilary Clinton, herself. While some might attribute Sanders’ newfound political relevance to his thoughtful, nuanced, policy positions, or his grassroots efforts to appeal to a wide, untapped liberal base. I have another theory.

America loves a folk musician.

Oh, you didn’t know? Bernie Sanders once released a full album of American folk standards. Yup. The (admittedly, unlikely) next president of the United States is a bona fide folker.

Sanders’ album, “We Shall Overcome” was release in 1987, while Bernie was still mayor of Burlington, VT. According to Seven Days, a Vermont-based independent news site:

Todd Lockwood, a Burlington-based author/photographer/musician, remembers sipping coffee at Leunig’s Bistro one morning in 1987 when he came up with the idea of recording then-mayor Sanders at his White Crow Audio studios. (Phish recorded early albums there.)

“I’m not sure where it came from,” Lockwood said of his brainstorm. “I thought, ‘You know, there’s an idea.’”

On a whim, he called the mayor’s office — he didn’t know Sanders — and left a message with a secretary. Before long, he got a call back — Sanders wanted a meeting.

“I was surprised he said, ‘Yes,’” Lockwood said. “When I first went to his office he said, ‘I have to admit to you this appeals to my ego.’’’

Sanders gave Lockwood a list of songs, mostly from Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, he would be willing to record.

How does it sound? Judge for yourself:

Originally, Sanders had planned to sing each song himself, but that went right out the window after he actually, well, started to sing. Mel Torme, he ain’t. Instead, his singing voice allegedly ended up sounding exactly as you’d probably expect coming from a crotchety Jewish member of the Vermont Progressive Party – Not, uh…not so great.

Still, if you’re interested/brave enough, the full album is available for purchase on amazon.

Posted in Democratic Party, democratic socialism, life, music, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

State of Working America

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on October 31, 2013

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The Economic Policy Institute is a left-of-liberal think tank that publishes The State of Working America, now in its 12th edition. This 500 page, incredibly well documented tome contains a mass of information on income, wages, jobs, mobility, wealth and poverty, along with tables, charts and graphs, essentially making the argument that for the last few decades income inequality has increased, wages for working Americans have gone down, jobs have been decimated or converted to low-paying service employment, social mobility for those in the middle and lower classes has rigidified, and “the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer,” to quote an old phrase.

The EPI also makes policy recommendations: support workers rights and union organizing, increase the minimum wage, fight against “free trade” agreements like NAFTA, increase spending on the social safety net, etc. The EPI in general and The State of Working America in particular, provide all the factual ammunition you’ll need to fight and win your arguments against your conservative, moderate, or even liberal friends, not to mention make the case for building a democratic socialist United States.

Posted in democratic socialism, economics, jobless recovery, labor unions, life, Marx, United States of America, US economy, US middle class, US ruling class, US society, US working class | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »