Sanders Mega-Donor Advocated for Southern Secession to Rid Country of ‘Dumb’ People

Jane O'Meara Sanders, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center left, stands with actor Danny Glover during the 2019 California Democratic Party State Organizing Convention in San Francisco, Sunday, June 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By Haris Alic

A major donor who introduced 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at his first 2020 “grassroots fund-raiser” previously advocated for the South to secede so it could stop “dumbing down national politics.”

On Saturday, Sanders’s presidential campaign hosted a star-studded event in San Francisco, which it billed as “grassroots fundraiser and friendraiser.” Tickets for attendance started at $27 and went up to $2,800, the maximum contribution allowed by the Federal Election Commission.

Although the event drew attention with its high-profile speakers, including actor Danny Glover and activist Cornel West, the man who introduced Sanders, Guy Saperstein, received little notice. In its coverage of the fundraiser, The New York Times described Saperstein as a “retired civil rights lawyer” and wealthy “political contributor,” who was out of place given Sanders’ broadsides against big money in politics.

What the Times failed to mention is that Saperstein, a former president of the Sierra Club, has a long and somewhat controversial history in Democratic politics.

As previously reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Saperstein in 2014 was a member of a private Google group consisting of “progressive organizers, reporters, and campaign apparatchiks.” As a member of that group, Saperstein openly discussed his support for Southern secession.

“For more than 100 years, the South has been dumbing down national politics, tilting the country in a conservative direction, supporting militarism, all while demanding huge financial subsidies from blue states,” Guy Saperstein wrote in emails to other members. “It would be 100% fine with me if the South was a separate nation, pursuing its own priorities and destiny.”

When the emails were leaked to Media Trackers, a now defunct Wisconsin conservative news outlet, Saperstein doubled down on his stance.

“Secession would be a gradual process, giving any blacks who felt threatened time to relocate,” he told Media Trackers at the time.

It is unclear if Sanders knew about Saperstein’s prior remarks. The senator’s campaign did not return requests for comment.

The issue, however, underscores a potential vulnerability for the self-described Democratic socialist from Vermont. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Sanders failed to gain traction in the South. Sanders lost every single state in the region to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the eventual nominee. In some states like South Carolina, where African-American voters make up a large portion of the Democratic electorate, Sanders was defeated by landslide margins.

Saperstein is also a former member of the Democracy Alliance, the secretive group of liberal billionaires—which also includes Tom Steyer and George Soros—that funds Democratic campaigns and causes across the country.

Bilderberg 2019: Who’s going and what will they be discussing?

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Roughly 130 world leaders from 23 countries, ranging from royalty to industry and everything in between, will attend the 2019 Bilderberg Group this week, to discuss topics like Russia, Brexit and the future of AI.

The ultra-secretive meeting will take place from Thursday to Sunday in Montreux, Switzerland. Founded in 1954, the notorious meeting is ostensibly aimed at improving relations between the US and Europe, though the event has long been shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories as attendees are forbidden from disclosing what was discussed.

Many contend it has a far more sinister purpose than mere international relations. Theories range from far-left worries that the group’s aim is to impose eternal capitalist domination, while some on the right have expressed concerns about the establishment of a world government named the New World Order.

Rebelling against ‘globalism’ & a ‘new world order’ doesn’t make Farage an ‘anti-Semite’

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Top politicians, business leaders, financiers and academics usually traditionally rank among the invitees. Among the confirmed 2019 attendees are some powerful titans of the tech industry including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, leading bankers from Goldman Sachs and the Bank of England as well as Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam, and notable world leaders and former politicians including former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Trump adviser Jared Kushner also features on the confirmed guest list while rumors circulate that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might make an appearance, reportedly to discuss the Iran situation with Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, though he does not appear on the official guest list. The Swiss Finance Ministry has denied such reports but Switzerland often represents US interests in Iran as a go-between.

US think tank goes big-game hunting for Russia. Guess who gets shot in the foot?

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The published 2019 talking points include topics such as Brexit, the ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI), climate change and sustainability, and the future of space exploration. Russia, China, the future of capitalism, and the weaponization of social media also feature among the loose list of discussion topics. However, meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, meaning participants may use any information gleaned therein but may not disclose its source or their affiliations, so that discussion may take place in a ‘free-fire’ zone away from the scrutiny of public discourse. No votes are taken, no policies set and no statements are made at the meeting.

One of the founders of the group, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, said the extreme secrecy was necessary so that “severe economic dips like the Great Depressions could be avoided if responsible and influential leaders could manage world events behind their necessary public posturing.”

Confirmed past luminaries who have graced the top secret meeting include: Bill Clinton (1991), David Cameron (2013), Bill Gates (2010), Prince Charles (1986), Jeff Bezos (2011, 2013), Margaret Thatcher (1975, 1976 and 1986) and banker David Rockefeller (2008, 2009, 2011).

Belgian Authorities Clear Migrants From ‘No-Go’ Transit Station

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‘Christchurch Call’ is a blueprint for more online censorship — and Zuckerberg is a big fan

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By Danielle Ryan

There is nothing inherently wrong with the new ‘Christchurch Call’ to curb violent and terrorist content online. No one in their right mind wants mass shootings live-streamed online — but it’s what comes next that should worry us.

Drawn up in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque massacre, which was streamed live online, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s ‘Christchurch Call’ is billed as a “roadmap for action” and calls for the “immediate and permanent” removal of “terrorist and violent extremist content” from social media platforms. It has been signed by 18 governments and eight tech companies.

On the face of it, that sounds fine. It’s difficult to argue against removing terrorist content from the platforms so many of us use on a daily basis. The trouble is, Ardern has already admitted that the pledge is simply a “starting point” — and if you were expecting this to be the moment at which social media companies finally began to push back a little bit, sorry to disappoint you, but they’re all in on it together.

ALSO ON RT.COMFacebook ban on Alex Jones and others is a form of modern-day book burning

Endorsing censorship

Lord of social media, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is afflicted with an obvious and ever-worsening God complex, offered a full-throated endorsement of online censorship a few days ago, saying “…the question of what speech should be acceptable and what is harmful needs to be defined by regulation, by thoughtful governments.”

That’s right, Zuck thinks “thoughtful governments” should be deciding what is “acceptable” for us to say online. There’s no ambiguity there. It’s a simple, straight-forward endorsement of the idea that governments should be allowed to regulate our speech. If that doesn’t worry you, then maybe you’re the kind of person who reads dystopian novels and cheers for the wrong side.

Zuckerberg’s comment isn’t exactly out of the blue. Facebook is already under fire for censoring political speech from both the right and left ends of the political spectrum. The company has banned a slew of right-wing commentators and conservative agitators from its platform and taken worrying steps against leftist and anti-war activists around the world.

Just the beginning

So, if social media companies aren’t going to fight back on our behalf (and they clearly are not), who will? The obvious answer is “journalists” — but they don’t appear to be in too much of a rush to halt this creeping censorship either. Some of them appear to be advocating more censorship, rather than less.

ALSO ON RT.COMNo kissing gays or conservative hunters: Overcautious Facebook blocks political ads in SwedenIn an interview with Le Monde on Monday, Ardern was asked why she decided to focus “uniquely on violent terrorist content, and not more broadly on hate speech, which also contributes to the drift in social media?”

Ardern replied that focusing on terrorist content was just the “point of departure” on which everyone could agree. So this is a journey we are on. We’ve departed at ‘terrorism is bad’ — but where will we end? Ardern said she was wary that going any further right now would “open the way for debate” on potential risks to freedom of expression. But in a joint press conference on Wednesday with French President Emmanuel Macron, she said her hope was that working together, governments and tech companies could “eliminate ideologies of hate.”

That would be lovely — and if only the word were so simple, we could just eliminate all the meanies from the internet and live in an online utopia. Unfortunately, this is completely unrealistic, and when you start talking about eliminating certain ideologies, that’s where things get sketchy. Particularly if we’re going to delegate the task of deciding what is and is not “harmful” (as Zuckerberg said) to “thoughtful governments.”

‘Hate speech’ or ‘free speech’?

Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis is set to sign a bill that would make it a “hate crime” to “demonize” or“delegitimize” Israel. The bill purports to be about “anti-Semitism” but it’s really just a vehicle to censor and even criminalize political speech. You see, that’s the kind of thing that “thoughtful” politicians get up to if left to their own devices. Then again, the Florida bill probably isn’t something that would ring alarm bells at Facebook HQ, either. Zuckerberg already happily complies with orders from the Israeli government to delete Palestinian activist accounts.

As for the US government, it has refused to sign Ardern’s ‘Christchurch Call’ citing first amendment rights — but declining to sign a vague and non-binding agreement doesn’t mean much. Capitol Hill is still swarming with politicians just dying to enforce more restrictions on free speech.

ALSO ON RT.COMFrance wants more govt regulation of Facebook and Zuckerberg calls it ‘model’ approachDemocratic Senator Chris Murphy tweeted in the aftermath of last year’s Infowars ban that the very “survival of [US] democracy” depends on Facebook’s willingness to “take down” more websites that “tear our country apart.” Sure, why don’t they just get rid of any content that could conceivably be categorized as divisive? Sounds like a foolproof plan.

A US government intelligence report last year highlighted a former RT show hosted by Abby Martin as an example of content that sowed “radical discontent” in society for critically covering controversial issues like US regime change wars, fracking, capitalism and police brutality. Be careful out there, you never know what could be defined as “radical” content next.

As journalist Igor Ogorodnev wrote in a recent oped, the aftermath of an atrocity “is a honeypot for short-sighted do-gooders buzzing about looking to do something, but also opportunist politicians to realize their long-harbored ambitions.”

Trying to distract us

Social media is what the public uses to organize en masse in the 21st century.

Is it any wonder that Macron, facing months of Yellow Vest protests against his government, is helping lead the charge toward more online censorship?

A French government report recently called for the eradication of content that damages “social cohesion” and warned that“false information,”“unfounded rumors” and “individuals pursuing political or financial objectives” can have an impact on “the social order.” But who decides what constitutes “false information” and “unfounded rumors”? Is Macron’s government “thoughtful” enough for Zuckerberg?

ALSO ON RT.COMWhite House posts call for social media censorship stories, triggering hope & cynicismOf course, it’s much easier for governments to pass the blame for social discontent onto companies like Facebook, while arguing that censorship is the only solution. If they didn’t do that, they’d have to admit that what really drives mass discontent are the neoliberal policies that have had a detrimental effect on basic standards of living, wiped out people’s life savings and ravaged the planet.

But maybe that’s all something Ardern and Macron can work on some other day — that is, if we’re allowed to talk about it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Salvini, Orban alliance: “If the Left wins, Europe will become an Islamic Caliphate”

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The Hungarian Prime MinisterViktor Orbán  and the Italian Interior Ministe Matteo Salvini are planning to fight the current EU agenda.

Salvini visited Orbán to inform himself about the border fence between Hungary and Serbia. Orban even referred to Salvini as the most important man in Europe.

Orban stated that he is ready to work with dynamic and vital men while calling the EU tired and powerless.

“I hope new powers will rise up and accomplish to build something”, ending with “Europe needs Matteo Salvini.”

Salvini underlined that he is not right-wing but that his party simply represents an alternative for Europe. He acknowledged not knowing how many parties will join him or how strong they will be.

“But, I hope we will be very strong because if the Left wins Europe will become an Islamic caliphate”he stated.

Both men called on the European People’s Party to adopt their views unless they want to commit political suicide. If the EPP decided to follow their example both expressed willingness to work with them.

EPP President Joseph Daul on the other hand strongly opposes this. He allegedly said that this would have to happen without him and that he would not accept to be Chair of the European Commission if it required the help of Orban’s Fidesz party.

After the suspension of the Fidesz party for its criticism of George Soros and EU-Commission President Juncker for their migration policies cooperation between Euro-Skeptics is becoming more and more likely.

Together with the Alternative for Germany, the Freedom Party of Austria, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National, the Finnish Perussuomalaiset, the Estonian Conservative People’s Party, the Dutch Freedom Party, the Slovakian Sme Rodina, the Belgian Vlaams Belang, the Danish People’s Party and Salvini’s Lega represent the European Alliance of Peoples and Nations and could become quite formidable after European Parliament elections.

Facebook co-founder says it’s ‘time to break up’ the social media giant in scathing op-ed

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Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has called for the break-up of the social media behemoth and lamented the “staggering” and “unchecked” power of CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a lengthy and searing oped.

Hughes co-founded Facebook with Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 and watched “in awe” as the company grew over the last 15 years — but said he now feels a “sense of anger and responsibility” about how all-powerful and out-of-control the social media giant has become.

Lashing out at the company, Hughes wrote in a piece published by the New York Times that Zuckerberg’s power and influence goes “far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government.”

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“There is no precedent for [Zuckerberg’s] ability to monitor, organize and even censor the conversations of two billion people.”

Hughes berates Facebook over “sloppy privacy practices,” “violent rhetoric and fake news,” and the “unbounded drive to capture ever more of our time and attention.” It’s not that Zuckerberg is a bad person, he writes, but “he’s human” and his focus on growth “led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks.”

ALSO ON RT.COMFacebook ban on Alex Jones and others is a form of modern-day book burningHughes also bemoans the fact that the powerful CEO controls three core communications platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) and says that lack of competition, market or government regulation is a major problem. If a competitor crops up, Zuckerberg can simply choose to shut it down “by acquiring, blocking or copying it” in the manner it did with the Instagram and WhatsApp mergers.

The lack of competition means that “every time Facebook messes up, we repeat an exhausting pattern: first outrage, then disappointment and, finally, resignation.”

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“Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered.”

Hughes also worries that Zuckerberg has “surrounded himself with a team that reinforces his beliefs instead of challenging them.” He believes that neither Facebook’s offer to appoint a “privacy czar” or the expected Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fine of $5 billion will be enough to rein in the company.

The answer and solution lies in more government regulation and subsequent market competition, Hughes says. But Facebook isn’t afraid of just “a few more rules,” so the action needs to be more dramatic, he suggests.

“The American government needs to do two things: break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to the American people.”

That will involve separating Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram into three individual companies and banning future acquisitions “for several years.”

The FTC should never have permitted these mergers, but it’s “not too late to act.” There is “precedent for correcting bad decisions,” he says, pointing to 2009 when Whole Foods settled antitrust complaints by selling off the Wild Oats brand and stores it had acquired years earlier.

ALSO ON RT.COMFacebook ban on Alex Jones and others is a form of modern-day book burningHe notes that time is of the essence, however, as Facebook has been working quickly to integrate the three platforms, precisely in order to make splitting them up more difficult.

“Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American. It is time to break up Facebook.”

Hughes also suggests the creation of a new government agency specifically to empower Congress to regulate tech companies and protect user privacy.

He says the agency should “create guidelines for acceptable speech on social media” while noting that the idea might seem “un-American” at first. The standards therefore should be “subject to the review of the courts” and would be similar to already accepted rules on speech like not shouting “fire” in a theater, provoking violence or making false statements to manipulate stock prices.

Ultimately, he says, an aggressive case taken now against Facebook would persuade other behemoths like Google and Amazon to “think twice” about stifling competition out of fear that “they could be next.”

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