Monday, February 29, 2016

We'll Rise and Follow Bernie!

We'll Rise and Follow Bernie!

It's Super Tuesday this week--and many voters will rise and follow Bernie to the polls. Our authors  give their reasons why they feel confident to "follow the leadership" of Bernie Sanders as he takes on corporate-owned, establishment candidates and the greed of the Wall Street billionaire banksters. As Bernie says, "Democracy is not a spectator sport." So, get out and vote #AmericaTogether !

Also, we have another installment of "This Woman is Bernie Strong!" and the editor's reflections on seeing Bernie Sanders and Nina Turner at the recent A Future to Believe In Rally in the Cleveland area.

Bernie's Song
Sung to the traditional Scottish air, Sound the Piobrach
                          Lyrics by Manus Brennan from Donegal, Ireland

Hear the people, Hear them roar
From great Vermont to the Texan shores
Let every and woman sing

We'll rise and follow Bernie!

With Bernie's song we sing along
With Bernie's strength we will march on
To Bernie's dream we all belong
We'll rise and follow Bernie.

The USA belongs to We
The people of this great country
And not to Billionaires they'll see
US rise and follow Bernie

Our young must have fair chance in life
Without the worry and the strife
Of poverty and broken lives
We'll rise and follow Bernie

With Bernie's song we sing along
With Bernie's strength we will march on
To Bernie's dream we all belong
We'll rise and follow Bernie.

No more their lies and blatant greed
The banks will meet the people's needs
And corporations pay their share
We'll rise and follow Bernie

Instead of bombing foreign lands
We'll help them with determined hands
Our strength will  lift the common man
We'll rise and follow Bernie

With Bernie's song we sing along
With Bernie's strength we carry on
To Bernie's dream we will march on
We'll rise and follow Bernie.

He lit a the torch in Burlington
We the people pass it on
From state to state to Washington
We rise and follow Bernie

Hear your people hear them roar 
From coast to coast, from shore to shore
The revolution has begun
We'll rise and follow Bernie

With Bernie's song we sing along
With Bernie's strength we will march on 
To Bernie's dream we all belong
We'll rise and follow Bernie.
* * *

Bernie Sanders: From Political Science Fiction to a Force Set to Radically Disrupt the Political Marketplace
by Hugh Campbell
In his article Is Bernie Sanders the ‘Star Wars’ of politics? David J. Adams compares Bernie Sanders to Star Wars’ Obi Wan Kenobi who awakens Luke Skywalker to his own potential. Sanders is demonstrating that the common folk, the everyday working families, the farmhands in remote parts of the political galaxy, actually do have power, that they can influence the political system and bring about change, that they can liberate themselves from perceived oppressors and have the better world they want.

As with Star Wars, the Sanders’ brand, his story, taps into our deepest longings. We want to believe the promise of  "a new hope." We want to believe a better world is possible. We want to believe that by uniting together as a people we can awaken a force that can defeat the dark side.

Unlike any candidate in recent memory including Obama, Bernie has ignited the imagination of possibility, of the eyes-wide-wow of what if… What if he can win? What if this political revolution, this grassroots movement is for real? The fact that an independent, self-declared, democratic socialist is on the verge of upsetting a candidate entrenched in the Establishment is proof for even the most skeptical to question whether there might be something real about this thing called "the force". Perhaps "of the people, by the people, for the people" isn’t just some fairy tale notion passed down through the colonies. It’s true. All of it.

Bernie Sanders:  This campaign is not about me; it is about you.

Bio: Hugh Campbell is a seasoned financial professional, currently providing subject matter expertise on a variety of regulatory topics, including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and overall compliance monitoring. Hugh has previously held positions as Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and Director of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance.
* * *

This Woman is Bernie Strong!
a weekly commentary from Bernie Sanders' female supporters

This week we continue with Part 2 of Allison Place's "Dear Mrs. Clinton" letter.

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

You attempt to utilize the rhetoric that works so well for Mr. Sanders and try to apply it to your own campaign. To your chagrin, however, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t work.

Why doesn’t it work? Well, it doesn’t work because we have brains. Yes, the word is out: the American people, the young feminists of the world, the people who go out and vote actually have brains. Mrs. Clinton, you undoubtedly have your supporters for one reason or another, and I have no intention to discredit what they see in you. Perhaps they are drawn to the fact that you are a woman running for office, or maybe they think that your years of experience make you the most suitable candidate.

I don’t really see that, though. I don’t care about your experience. All your experience tells me, from when you were the wife of a governor in Arkansas on the board for Walmart and Tyson meats to where you are now with your obscene speaking prices being funded directly from Wall Street, is that you can be bought. Mrs. Clinton, this is a problem. I don’t know how you let yourself get this deep without knowing that this a problem, but it is.

I will not vote for a candidate who is owned by corporations. These corporations are the very entities that make it impossible for a living, working wage. These corporations are responsible for 65% of new income going to the top 1%. These corporations are responsible for the ghastly conditions of sweat shop labor in other countries. These corporations are responsible for treaties like NAFTA, which deeply damaged the American economy by sending domestic labor to other countries to do for cheap. These corporations are responsible for the corrupt political system we have today and they are part of the reason that young feminists will not vote for you.

Bio: Allison Place says this about herself:
"I am 19 years old; I am a Media Studies major at UC Berkeley; I have worked in social media brand management. I am from Redding (the most conservative county in California). My support for Bernie and my interest in politics took off once I came to UC Berkeley for school. Ever since Bernie started running, I have been considering a minor or double major in political science. I usually write comedy articles for my blog, but since getting more involved in politics I do a mix of both comedy and political pieces now."

I Shook Nina Turner's Hand! 
(And Bernie Smiled at My Sign)
by Cindy A. Matthews
photos by Adrian J. Matthews

We did it again--we attended our second A Future to Believe In Rally within two weeks and survived.  We braved treacherous snow-covered roads in our county on our early-morning two hour trip to Berea, Ohio. Baldwin-Wallace University's Lou Higgins Rec Center, a slightly smaller venue to last week's Eastern Michigan's Convocation Hall, was jam-packed with Berners all the same. We estimated at least 2,000 in attendance, but it could have been more. Best of all, this time we didn't have to stand two hours+ outside in line in sub-freezing temps. However, after our bone-chilling experience in Ypsilanti, my husband and I were overdressed and could really "feel the burn" once everyone was crammed into the older basketball gymnasium.

For a very last minute rally, it was well attended by a variety of people. College students were there--of course--but also young families with babies in arms and toddlers in tow. There were retirees and proud veterans wearing their emblem hats and jackets, and of course there were progressive Baby Boomers wearing our political revolution t-shirts. The Nurses United union members showed up in their customary red shirts, and I even spied one young person wearing a banana costume... What can I say? You see all types at a Bernie Sanders rally.

A pre-rally concert of energetic jazz violin got the ball rolling.  Nina Turner introduced Bernie with an inspirational cheer. She is pure poetry in motion. Even in the muddy acoustics in the gymnasium we understood her perfectly.  Feel the Bern! This time we sat much closer to the podium, and at a very interesting angle. We sat behind Bernie and slightly to his right on the lower bleachers overlooking the podium stage.  I have to admit it was different. Watching Senator Sanders deliver his stump speech while staring at his bald spot in the midst of his silver-white mane, you really do get a feel for how he gets into his message via his body language. He uses his whole body to wave his arms and hands about--those gestures are coming from his heart, from deep down in his soul. You can't fake that level of sincerity, and it's why so many connect instantly with him.

Another thing we learned from our vantage point behind the podium is that Bernie wears  brownish-green colored pants with his navy suit jacket. Who needs to match suit pieces when you're standing in front of a podium? His own "GQ Look" as he likes to joke about isn't off-putting at all. In fact, he reminded me of my dad who also dressed in differing colors of suit pants and jacket. Bernie Sanders comes across as an ordinary guy who'd rather wear comfy casual slacks and a well-worn sweater any day of the week. Who wouldn't want to sit down and share some barbecue and a beer with him?
( Nina's introductory remarks in Cleveland. It's much easier to hear and see her from this angle.)

I counted at least eight to ten Secret Service personnel surrounding the very small podium platform where Bernie gave his remarks. We also spied at least a couple of military-fatigue-wearing "Bomb Squad" officers. Along with local sheriff's deputies and the TSA running security at the doors, once again we felt, that while we may have been in the middle of a large crowd,  it was probably the safest place in America to be.

Bernie's stump speech seemed slightly abbreviated from the one he gave at E.M.U., but that could be because I've memorized large portions of it. Last time we saw him, Bernie had just come from Flint, Michigan, and he had been visibly upset about the experience. This time he was traveling from the Cleveland area up to Flint to run a town hall with the citizens of that community. I really think Nina Turner convinced Bernie that he needed to return to the Buckeye State if only for a brief visit. A new poll by Baldwin-Wallace University of  "likely Ohio voters" shows Bernie with a 1% lead over Clinton. We've got to keep the momentum going, Ohio! Get out and canvass, phone bank or flyer today.

With the Ohio primary on March 15th, I took a chance after the rally to shake Nina Turner's hand and was bold enough to ask her to convince Bernie to come to the Toledo-side of the state. We desperately need Bernie Sanders in Northwest Ohio. NAFTA has drained away the well-paying union factory jobs, the car industry and other disastrous Republican policies have all but decimated our communities. She said she'd like Bernie to come to western Ohio, so we'll see. (I'm thinking they'll do a rally in Cincinnati/Dayton in the southwest corner. Campaigns gravitate toward the bigger metro areas, but I think Nina would be pleasantly surprised at the turn out in our corner of the state.)

What really made our long and snowy drive to Cleveland worth it to me was when Bernie--after shaking hands of the young people standing up around the podium area, signing posters and taking selfies with co-eds--started toward the gym exit with his Secret Service detail. Most of our section of the bleachers had cleared out, so we moved down several rows to watch Bernie shaking hands with the kids down on the gym floor. All of a sudden, a man in a crisp black suit and sporting an ear piece was standing next to me. I realized he was a Secret Service agent and his job probably was to make sure no one threw anything on top Bernie and Jane as they exited from the gym directly below us.  I asked if I needed to move and the agent told me that I was fine where I was. (How nice of him. Bernie's security detail are very pleasant.

I waved my "NW Ohio (hearts) Bernie 2016" sign and shouted, "Bernie! Come and visit us sometime!" just as Bernie and Jane walked under us. Then it happened: Bernie looked up and smiled directly at me! Yeah, he was smiling broadly and chuckling at my crazy Valentine-inspired sign with his face in the middle of the heart. I hope it made his day.

Next time we get a chance to attend a rally, I want to shake Bernie's hand. Maybe he'll even remember my crazy sign with the heart. It's a fan girl moment of "squee" for certain, but it's a lifetime memory to be able to say, like Larry David, I made the next President of the United States laugh.


  1. Berea was a remarkable experience. Seeing Bernie deliver his message to the crowd hanging on his every word show how much they need to hear that message, of how we can and must all come together to take back democracy from the hands of the 1%. Nina spoke with electrifying passion! I didn't get to shake her hand, but I hope she'll be taking the stand as President herself one day. #Teamberniesanders #WeAreBernie #Bernie2016

    1. Wouldn't it be nice to say one day that I met the future "President Nina Turner? ;)

      Remember, when the people fight together there's nothing we cannot do! Get out and VOTE in your state's primary/caucus! #SuperMonday #AmericaTogether #NotMeUs #Bernie2016


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