Monday, September 19, 2016

Outside the Box (We Actually Have Options)

Thinking Outside the Box

This week's theme is one of optimism and options--yes, we actually have options this presidential election. But first, we must stop ourselves from automatically cooperating with the status quo. We must start exercising our brains and voting for our own self-interests, not the interests of the establishment. We must vote our values and not our fears.  

Our contributors this week make this point eloquently. If you don't agree with them (or even if you do) let us know what you think. Submit your piece to us at Our Revolution Continues blog at  It's time for all of us to crawl out of our comfort zones. It's time to vote outside the box.

Critical Thinking
by Bern Notice

Critical thought is a rare beast these days. People accept data from any source without scrutiny when it aligns with their particular bias. When information is presented that runs contrary to their view of the world, it will be rejected by a good chunk of the population. This is why there are so many people who subscribe and align themselves with one particular party while completely ignoring all other options.

It's important to note that this is a symptom of the problem. It does not explain how it began in the first place. How did we get to where we are? To get that answer, you have too rewind the clock back to your youth.

We live in a society where you are told to conform from the day one. Parents tell their children,"They are to be seen and not to be heard," or "You do what I tell you to do, because I said so!" News organizations tell you that you should trust what they tell you because they are a "credible" news source. Religion tells you never to question doctrine and to accept what you're told by "faith." Your government tells you that you are free, even though your rights, freedoms and liberties have been stripped away one by one.

The key similarity between these entities is that they are all authoritarian figures. You are supposed to accept anything that they say or do without question. This stifles curiosity and encourages the hive mentality. What you are taught in youth will most likely determine the traits that you display as an adult. That mindset tend to be narrow-mindedness and a refusal to consider (much less accept) different or new ways of thinking.

This mindset only benefits those in power as they themselves are authority figures. The more people who act like drones and refuse to question flawed ideas and lies, the tighter their grip on power will be. No small number of despots and tyrants can control the masses without their consent. For too long, people have granted their consent to the corruption in government and, in our society, by being unquestioning consumers of authoritarian propaganda.

To make matters worse, even after some of us wake up to how we've been played for fools, we fall for the "divide and conquer" strategy. The strategy pits
neighbors, who share the same primary concerns, against each other over more trivial idealism. It's not to say that the goals aren't important, but until we (the working class) reclaim control of our government, nothing else will ever truly be fixed.

I know that for some this will be hard to hear or accept, but this is the truth. The progressives can't win this fight alone. Independents, centrists, libertarians and conservatives can't do this alone, either. The only way that real reform can ever become a reality is if we shed the labels and realize that only a unified working class starts fixing the biggest problems in our society first. To reach that line of thought, one has to start thinking outside of the box and realizing how badly we've been played.

Bio: Bern Notice is a fellow revolutionary who shares his insights frequently on Google+.


Crouching Bernie, Hidden Hillary by Jaeil Cho

Eye of the Liar 
(Sung to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger")
 By Carl Elderton

Gettin' out, back on the street
Did my time, just learned nothing
For my resistance
Now I'm back on my beat
Just a shill and her will to deny
So many times, it happens to us
You trade our passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the lives of the Free
You must fight to deny them a life
It's the eye of the liar
It's the thrill of the Right
Risin' up to suppression
Of a rival
And the last plaster saint
Stalks her prey in the night
And she's watching us all with the
Eye of the liar


Nobody 2016 – 
Insight Behind the Surging Political Trend
photos and essay by Carly Reed

In light of the Democratic committee unlawfully selecting Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee, Bernie Sanders being discarded despite a massive following, and Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to prominence as a legitimate threat to sit in the Oval Office, the American public is simply fed up. Faith in the political system is at an all-time low, and the result of 2016’s roller coaster election has people in an uproar.

There are multiple third party candidates that hold the potential to initiate great change and bring prosperity to the USA, but the majority of citizens still fail to realize the possibility of electing a third party is a viable option. As such, numerous Nobody 2016 movements have begun to take root across America. When browsing social media, walking around a college campus, or even just conversation with friends, you are likely to come across something encouraging you to "Vote for Nobody" this election.

I first came across this movement while walking to class several weeks ago at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. The campus is currently completely covered in purple Nobody 2016 propaganda--and the number of stickers and posters appearing on campus seems to grow by the day. Additionally, variations of this design are appearing on voter’s cars in the form of bumper stickers, taking control of Facebook groups, and can be found on many homemade shopping website like Etsy and Zazzle. The amount of Nobody 2016 gear being pushed on the public is enormous and cannot be ignored.

The motive behind the message seems fairly clear: boycott the political system and refuse to vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. After conducting some research and looking into the specific organization that was printed on my school’s stickers ( I realized the message might not be so simple. Political frustration is at its peak within the public realm, but this particular organization seems to not be specifically encouraging citizens not to vote. Instead, it appears the Nobody 2016 movement is more of a humorous attempt to highlight the issues with today’s political system. This could be dangerous, but it could also be exactly what America needs. A serious wake up call.

Although every individual’s interpretation of the matter will vary, I personally believe Nobody 2016 is more about refusing to conform to the corrupt system that has presented two unelectable primary candidates. Progressives should vote their conscience; conforming to corruption only encourages more corruption. A vote for a third party, or rather, a vote for "Nobody", will act as the best means of implementing social change in America. Consider this: if Trump and Clinton receive significant support, just in spite of the other candidate, who will be the primary presidential nominees in 2020? 

At the end of the day, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

That’s my interpretation of Nobody 2016. But the idea behind any movement will be perceived differently by everyone. Share what you think. "Nobody" for president might turn out better than Clinton or Trump after all.

Bio: Carly Reed says: "I'm a freshmen at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I'm currently a political science major. Politics inspire me to be better and hope for the best out of society, and I believe Bernie Sanders, win or lose, has done more for America within the past four years than just about any politician."

For many voters, the 2016 election will be the first time they've even considered supporting a third party or independent candidate. For those of us who have voted "outside the box" before, this is perhaps the first time we've allowed ourselves the hope of seeing our candidates win office or achieve wider acclaim (in spite of mainstream media censorship). For students and other young voters, below is a simple manual on how to vote third party. It really is that simple...
If you're still having qualms (or you are being told/scolded/threatened that you must vote for a "certain candidate" in order to avoid electing another candidate), take a look at this excellent blog post, The Alternative Factor:

John Laurit explains the "math" of why you can vote for whomever you like (not whoever they tell you to) in a way that's easy to follow and in fact he encourages us all to vote our values: 

We posted a piece on "The Birfurcation Fallacy" ("voting for Candidate A will cause Candidate B to win" logic fallacy) a while back and you can read about it here (second piece down): 

Knowing that you're not falling for a popular myth, propagated by the duopoly establishment, should ease your conscience. Always vote your conscience! 

A new progressive group, Politics Reborn, has an event coming up soon in the New York area you may want to check out called "Tell Your Story on Camera."

They are also collecting information on the "Local Political Process--How Does It Work Where You Live?" Fill out the form by clicking here.

If you know of other progressive groups that would be of interest to our readers, please email us the details. 

Remember: Information is power, and it's all about "Power to the people!" 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Make Some Noise! We Stand with Standing Rock

People Over Pipelines!
#NoDAPL Day of Action in front of 
Marathon Petroleum Headquarters
 (photos by Adrian J. Matthews)

 We were few in number, but mighty in spirit. We received numerous honks, thumbs up, and shouts of agreement from passers-by as we stood across from Marathon Petroleum Headquarters on S. Main Street of Findlay, Ohio.

 I wore my "Don't Frack Your Mother" t-shirt and held up two signs, standing along with my new activist friend, Ken. If you've never peacefully protested before, it's not scary. Do it! You'll find it to be an exhilarating experience.

 Besides receiving positive feedback from motorists and pedestrians, we also were interviewed by local radio and newspaper reporters. We stayed on message and shared the story of what is happening at Standing Rock. It is amazing how well-received it was and how many expressed a similar outrage at what Marathon Petroleum and others were doing there.

 Remember: Water is life, and all life on our small planet is interconnected. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock and elsewhere whose right to safe, clean water and land are being abridged in the name of dirty oil and the fossil fuel industry's obscene profits. 

I'll share more of our story later, but I want to encourage you to share your photos and stories of your Day of Action for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Please email them to us at This is only the first action of many, so I'm sure we'll have plenty of stories to tell! (Now on to this week's blog with more hints on how to help spread the word and shut down the pipeline.)

Here's what Bernie had to say on September 13:

Make Some Noise!
We Stand with Standing Rock

We can't stand still for the atrocities happening at Standing Rock. We've come to a time as a country, as a people, as a planet when we have to take a stand and fight against the injustices and naked greed perpetrated upon us by the one percenters and their puppets of the establishment party, the "Demo-Reps". It is time to make some noise.

What sort of "noise" should we make? Not unorganized, cacaphonous, grating noise but a unified voice expressing our outrage at how our rights, our health, the safety of our very water and land are being taken away without our permission. The example we should follow is from the Civil Rights Movement, that is, civil disobedience.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein performed a perfect act of civil disobedience at Standing Rock. She spray painted, "I approve this message," on the blade of a bulldozer. She has been charged with misdemeanor vandalism and trespass. She received national news coverage and numerous newspaper stories she otherwise wouldn't have received. Not a bad way to attract attention to what is happening at Standing Rock, is it?

There has been an "Arab Spring", a "Democracy Spring", a "Summer of Love" and even a "winter of our discontent." Why not a "Stand Up to Tyranny Autumn"? Yeah, I know that's not a catchy phrase, but I'm certain you can come up with a much better one.

And I'm even more certain you can come up with ways to demonstrate your anger against the tyrannical one percent. The Standing Rock "protectors" are giving us a great example of how to show the world we will no longer cooperate with "lesser evils" and will instead "fight for the greater good." 

Global Weeks of Action against the pipeline run from now until September 17th. Visit the website at and take advantage of the media and outreach materials and an excellent list of links to nonviolent direct action resources.

On Tuesday, September 13, there will be a nationwide Day of Action with events throughout the country calling on President Obama to revoke the permits for this pipeline. Go to this link  and enter your zip code to see if there's an event planned near you. If there isn't, please consider starting your own. Tell your friends, family and neighbors to sign up as well.

If you're not able to travel or get out in public, other ways to  help the cause is to write letters to the editor of newspapers, tweet, email and make phone calls to the companies and individuals responsible for the Dakota Access Pipeline in the first place. Democracy Now! in this video reveals the corporations financing the pipeline we should be calling and mailing. You'll recognize a lot of them--CitiCorp, Goldman Sachs, Sunoco, Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66. You might even find one of their places of business in your city. Plan a direct action event there if you can.

The main thing  to keep in mind is to stay on message. The people of Standing Rock are staying on message. Their message: "Our water, land, culture and our very lives are at stake--do not build this pipeline!" This moving short video by native women, "I am not a protester. I am a protector", shows you how effective their message is. If your group can stay on message, cultivate allies within the media (local and alternative media count), and keep your cool when attacked verbally and/or physically by those enslaved to the one-percent's whims, then eventually you will be heard and your cause will be acknowledged by the majority as just and worthy.

Will we be successful? Eventually. Will we see the change we want to see happen overnight? In all honesty, probably not. But we will see some change in the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans. Together, we will realize a better world for all. 

Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., less than 24 hours before his assassination, told an overflowing crowd in Memphis: “We got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop…I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

We will get to the Promise Land. But first we must stand together and stand tall with the water protectors of Standing Rock. Don't be shy-- Our Revolution needs every revolutionary to take action and spread the word!

 Update 7 PM, 9-9-16:  Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

In short, the Army told the Corps of Engineers to halt (for now). We're not out of the woods yet, so keep up the noise. Don't let them forget we're not stopping until the Dakota Access Pipeline project is shut down for good. 

According to Brand New Congress:
Just today, a judge denied the tribe's request to stop construction of the pipeline. Fortunately, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers replied to that, and refused to authorize its construction on Corps land, but the tribe's lands are far from being safe. The permits for the pipeline need to be fully revoked.

Let’s support - in whatever way we can - the 8,000 people who are fighting for the protection of sacred lands and local water systems. Below are some of the ways we can all pitch in:

If you are unable to donate or send supplies, you can:

  • Call the North Dakota Governor at 701-328-2200. Let him know what you think of what he is allowing to happen to these lands.
  • Call the Army Corp of Engineers at 202-761-5903. Demand that they reverse the permit for the building of the pipeline.

 Here's what Bernie Sanders has to say about the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest:

"The major global crisis facing our planet today is climate change. The vast majority of scientists tell us that climate change is real, it is caused by humans and it is already causing devastating problems. They say that if we do not aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy, the planet we leave our children will be a much less habitable place.

"Like the Keystone XL pipeline, which I opposed since day one, the Dakota Access fracked oil pipeline will transport some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Regardless of the court’s decision, the Dakota Access pipeline must be stopped. As a nation, our job is to break our addiction to fossil fuels, not increase our dependence on oil. I join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many tribal nations fighting this dangerous pipeline."
Bernie and Tara Houska, his Native American advisor on the campaign trail, will be speaking on Tuesday, September 13, on the Day of Action in Washington, DC.

Can Our Revolution count on your support? Click on this link to Our Revolution to sign the petition, then get to work spreading the news about what is happening in North Dakota and everywhere our land, air and water are being threatened. Let those in authority know in no uncertain terms what we want done about it.
The short video below gives some more background information on the Dakota Access Pipeline situation. The link takes you to petition that will be presented to President Obama. Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline:

This Democracy Now! interview with tribal historian LaDonna Brave Bull Allard is quite revealing of both past and present injustices perpetrated against the Sioux people of Standing Rock Reservation. Watch it and learn a heartbreaking part of American history most of us are never taught in school. 

Information is power.  Share this story/video. Let us not repeat history! (

This video by Democracy Now! shows journalist Amy Goodman at Standing Rock the day the private mercenaries attacked the protectors with pepper spray and dogs: 

An expert on law enforcement dog handling discusses the incident:

This Periscope video by Talibah Begay tells what happened that day from the protectors' viewpoint:


To end on a lighter note, this past week our devoted leader in the political revolution, Senator Bernie Sanders, celebrated his 75th birthday. Bernie also spoke on Labor Day about the struggles of activists throughout history. Let his words give us courage and strength to fight the good fight. Watch this Facebook video and see what I mean.

Happy birthday, Bernie! May you have many, many more as you help us create "a future to believe in."

Monday, September 5, 2016

Curing America (And Jill Stein Live!)

Jill Stein Live!

We recently traveled to Capital University in Columbus, Ohio to see Jill Stein in person. More of our photos are posted below this week's topic of health care, which is one Dr. Stein has a lot to say about. (You can watch Jill's speech at Capital U. on  this Facebook video.)

Curing America
By Cindy A Matthews

There's a serious illness in the air, and it's highly contagious. I'm not talking about the Zika virus or the upcoming flu season, either. I'm talking about the disease of greed and the accompanying symptom found in its wake of its many victims, the sickness of despair.

We need a cure. Asking corporate America, those who created and nurtured the disease, to provide one for us is a good definition of insanity. Allowing the instigators of this disease, Big Pharma, to regulate themselves and continually exploit the sufferers goes well beyond anyone's definition of insanity. 

Insanity and injustice... Isn't this what was exposed to us in the recent EpiPen controversy (A $300 pen holding $1 worth of medicine) involving the grossly overpaid  CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, and her daddy, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia? Isn't it insane to think that this isn't the first time something this despicable has happened in the good ol' USA? Remember Martin Shkreli? Isn't it insane to think this chart of drug price comparisons from a year ago is a good thing? (Add in the fact that in most other countries universal health care pays the full price of these life-saving drugs, and then you can truly see the injustices of our so-called "health care". (Consider this comparison of the US to other countries.)

 How do we cure ourselves of this disease of greed foisted on the American public by a privately-controlled system? Why do we shy away from demanding universal health care for all Americans? What should be our response to this unjust  system of non-health care?

 Yet another song lyric jumps into my head in reply. To quote the Twisted Sister rock classic: "We're not gonna to take it! No, we ain't gonna to take it! We're not gonna to take it anymore!"

That rock anthem should become our rallying cry. Why? A lot of folks lately have been expending energy arguing and moaning about how Bernie Sanders isn't the nominee and how the crooked DNC stole the primary election. Yes, those are sad things, rightfully to be mourned, but sitting around and doing nothing while there are positive things we could be doing to change America and the world for the better is a complete waste of time.

Bernie (and many other progressives) have given us plenty of ideas of what we should be doing besides catching--and spreading--the sickness of despair. We should be working together on a cure for the disease of greed. What better issue to start with, and make a big noise about, than insanely-priced vital medicines such as the EpiPen? This story by itself could sell universal health care if we put our minds and backs into it.

Think about it. How many ordinary Americans are affected by a 400%+ increase in the cost of an EpiPen or other life-saving drug? Wouldn't these  "non-political" people be angry like we are about what's happening? Wouldn't they be willing to join forces with us in calling out the perpetrators of the disease of greed (the pharmaceutical industry and its lobbyists) and our bought-and-paid-for politicians (such as Senator Manchin and others)? 

This heinous headline about the greed of the EpiPen manufacturers makes for a prime opportunity to bring more on board with the political revolution

So, get out there and start talking about it. Write about it to your local newspaper's Letters to the Editor column and post related article links online to get your friends and neighbors talking. Get out and join groups who are protesting the outrage of non-health care in America in the streets and attract media coverage (alternative and Periscope coverage count, too). Make some noise and demand change! (For example, Toledo area progressives are marching in their Labor Day Parade with SPAN--Single-Payer Action Network.)

Because, to quote both the classic film Network and the talented Twisted Sister, "We're mad as hell, and we're not gonna to take it anymore!"

And now another look how the disease of corporate greed has affected our hopes for democracy.

The Slo-Mo Corporate Coup d'etat
by Adrian J. Matthews

It's been happening for years, decades even. The corporate world has stealthily infiltrated government at state and national level. Politicians have been bought and bribed. The proposed bills they espouse are more often than not put together by corporations determined to skew the laws of this country to their own advantage. One politician once boasted he could call a lobbyist at any time of the day or night and arrange for them to hold a rendezvous, where said lobbyist would hand over a suitcase full of cash, no questions asked.


As time passed the corporate behavior became more complacent, their trickery more blatant. Their contempt for ordinary people is manifest. On one occasion during the peaceful Occupy Movement, protesters staging a sit-in in New York City were treated to the spectacle of a one-percenter emerging from his office block to ostentatiously pour a bottle of expensive wine over the heads of those sitting in front.

Contempt, indeed.

US Senator Bernie Sanders woke us all up. His run for President was a roller-coaster ride of jubilation that ended on a sour note when it became obvious the so-called Democratic Party was anything but. It is in fact a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Clinton Family, and they had absolutely no intention of allowing anybody but Her to be the nominee. Allegations of electoral fraud have been dismissed by carefully-placed judges. Bernie Sanders himself was forced to go to New Hampshire, a place where he had great success during the primary to Her detriment, to give his endorsement for her as nominee. (I'm sure if she'd thought she could get away with it, she'd have cut the Senator's head off and held it up to the people of New Hampshire as an example of what happens to those who defy her.)

Post-convention, propaganda moves to discredit Senator Sanders' new Our Revolution movement have been ramped up. Proposed head of the organization Jeff Weaver has been slammed for acting like a traitor and turncoat, a real Benedict Arnold. People who have supposedly been Bernie Sanders supporters all along have vilified him on social media and in the press for appearing to support Her.

It's ugly stuff and so irrelevant.

Why? Because it's not about Jeff Weaver. It's not even about U.S. Senator

Bernie Sanders, although he is owed a yuge vote of thanks for waking us up. Our Revolution is about You and Me, our children and their descendants, and the world we want them to have. For myself, I don't want to leave a world that's owned by the multi-national corporations, where people are no longer citizens of their country but slaves for the rich.

Let's leave this idea of personalities behind and carry forward the idea of progressive values. It's the last thing the one percent want us to do, and so it must be the first thing we do.

We must get involved in government at all levels, beginning with local affairs such as school boards, county commissioners, sheriff, judges and so on up the scale. Our Revolution is the lubricant that will loosen the one-percenter's grip on our world.


Jill Stein at Capital University

September 2, 2016:  Jill Stein arrived in the Columbus, Ohio area about two hour later than her scheduled time of noon--all a part of the challenges third parties face because they don't have big travel budgets. Here's Jill with human rights attorney and activist Bob Fitrakis (to her right) who is running on the Green Party ticket for Franklin County (Ohio) Prosecutor. The Greens are quite active in the Columbus area, and they're currently collecting signatures to put an anti-fracking measure on the city/county ballot. Good luck, C-bus Greens!

Capital University's campus Green Party group arranged Jill Stein's visit to their school. It's heartening to see the Millennial generation working  hard to bring political and environmental issues to the public's awareness. We can only hope and pray they have a better future in spite of their elders' selfish ways.

Former Ohio Green Party gubernatorial candidate Anita Rios talked about how she overcame many obstacles in her life to get where she is today, and how she's never going to quit fighting for a brighter future for all our children.

 Dr. Wasserman of Capital University helps Jill with the question and answer portion of her presentation. Yes, Jill actually takes questions from her audience and the press, unlike another presidential candidate who has avoided speaking to the press for over 280+ days now. And  once again Jill got asked the "Why are you against vaccines?" question.  Dr. Stein repeated that she was trained as a medical doctor and isn't against vaccines. She's for bettering the public's health, which includes vaccination. In fact, she co-authored a book, In Harm's Way, on how toxins in our environment adversely affect child development. You can download the pdf file of In Harm's Way for free at this link.  

Jill is also against the so-called "War on Drugs," which has done nothing but create a "school to prison pipeline" in communities of color in order to make money for private, for-profit prisons. Jill pointed out that the bloated U.S. Defense budget makes up 54% of the total budget and the next items get 7% or less. The Green Party plans to bail out our students from their burden of college debt instead of bailing out "too big to fail" banks.  Greens want to invest our tax dollars into a "Green New Deal" to provide jobs and education to transform America into a first world country. All Americans will have the dignity of work and live free from fear of losing their credit ratings and homes due to medical debt because of universal health care.

We were sunburned from sitting out on the lawn for several hours, but still very happy to have met Jill Stein in person. Jill is a very polite and approachable person. I think that's what makes her a good candidate--you get a vibe that she actually likes people and wants to help them and our world become healthier, happier and safer. Her motto is "People, Planet and Peace above Profits." She's not in the race for the glory or millions. She's in it because she really cares. 

A lot of Berners have picked up on this sense of "Not Me Us" in Jill's Green Party message. Progressives of all stripes can rally around the Green platform with its emphasis on ordinary people and saving our planet, a far cry from the corporate-owned-and-operated establishment parties. The new "Green Party Anthem" debuted this past week at the famous Bernie Cafe in Los Angeles. Rap along with Kor Element's Power to the People on Jill's Facebook page or listen to it on this Truthdig You Tube videoTo misquote Kor Element: Let's "get outta line and vote Jill Stein." Power to the people!