Tuesday, March 12, 2019

We're Looking For America

Join us as we're looking for America this week. We might even find it if we're lucky.

It's a family reunion of sorts here on The Revolution Continues. My fellow Bernie2016TV teammates and frequent contributors Bern Notice and Eddie Alvarado have each submitted an excellent piece for our enlightenment. Enjoy!

First up, Bern Notice gives us some useful information to help you decide where you might fall on the political spectrum.

original meme by Bern Notice

The Political Spectrum
by Bern Notice

There seems to be confusion on what a progressive is these days. Sometimes it’s due to a how a candidate is portrayed, or taking one individual's quote out of context and applying it to a movement.

I think the best way to truly understand what “progressive” means is to define what the other four ideologies are. This way it gives better context for understanding the important differences. Please note, the political ideologies are not always reflective of a party.

Libertarian: Supports extremely limited government and unfettered capitalism. (Socially: indifferent, Fiscally: right, Government policy: right) Best identified with Ayn Rand.

Conservative: Supports limited but robust government with limited (conservative) change from the original constitution and unfettered capitalism. (Socially: right, Fiscally: right, Government policy: right) Best identified with  Ronald Reagan.

Independent: No commitment to ideology. Independents run with what makes the most practical sense by each individual issue. (Socially: variable by issue, Fiscally: variable by issue, Government policy: variable by issue) Best identified with Ray Bradbury.

Liberal: Support strong government with incremental change, and strong capitalism with limited checks. (Socially: left, Fiscally: left, Government policy: center left) Best identified with Bill Clinton.

and finally…

Progressive: Supports very strong government with aggressive change and limited capitalism strong oversight. (Socially: left, Fiscally: left, Government policy: left) Best Identified with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

In short, the break between liberal and progressive is akin to the break between conservatives and libertarians. Progressives are in line with with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Liberals are in line with Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama and Teddy Kennedy. Essentially it comes down to how much your want the government involved in oversight and how rapidly you want the change to occur.

BIO: Check out Bern Notice's informational articles  like this one at  Seeing Through the B.S.  Currently he's blogging on each of the declared Democratic candidates for the presidency for 2020. Here's a list of the candidates he's covered (very thoroughly) so far:

Bernie Sanders: https://bernnoticepolitics.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/2020-presidential-candidate-profiles-part-2-senator-bernie-sanders/

Kamala Harris: https://bernnoticepolitics.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/2020-presidential-candidate-profiles-part-1-senator-kamala-harris/

Andrew Yang: https://bernnoticepolitics.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/2020-presidential-candidate-profiles-part-3-andrew-yang/

Cory Booker: https://bernnoticepolitics.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/2020-presidential-candidate-profiles-part-4-senator-cory-booker/#like-1619

Another Bernie2016TV colleague is looking for more than just a candidate to back--he's looking for America itself. Eddie's poignant essay touches on the anguish we feel when we can't find what we thought once was there.
Looking for America
by Eddie Alvarado  
It is something we all do from time to time. We ponder about where is that America we were told about when we were young. Many have found that America. Unfortunately, a lot more haven’t. For many, America is the place of opportunity. But it is too often the place only the rich can afford. A place where its people want to work together to build each other up, but it is often the rich and powerful who actively work to keep us broken and difficult to put back together. To the apathetic, awaiting their reality, it’s only the name of a Simon and Garfunkel or Switchfoot song.

We stand in the reality of a public health crisis where many of our loved ones die from opiate overdoses. We’re looking for a place that treats our sick with the respect they deserve, not throwing them in a prison to die because of non-violent charges. We see our climate slowly being turned out of balance by men who literally want to watch the world burn. And where are we? We’re pacing. We’re trying to provide for all in an ever more grueling world. We’re trying to come to the land of opportunity, which continues to be fogged from view, by a demagogue of a president. We’re looking for that shining torch of liberty. We’re looking for America.

We used to be able to gather without the threat of being mowed down by the extreme right whose views are so toxic that any opposition to their abhorrent agenda constitutes a death sentence. We used to rise over injustice when a fellow man was kicked to the ground--we used to pick him up and fight for him. Any criticism of a certain group so invested in kicking down a people wishing to be recognized as a state is now considered anti-Semitic. For merely mentioning this bully's crimes, not the party who did nothing wrong, it is labeled that way. We’re looking for a place where we can rise against lobbyists who work to kick people down. We’re looking for America.

We’re looking for a place that told our parents, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” But the cost of freedom is to breathe toxic air or lead infested waters. The cost of breathing free is to stare down the barrel of a handgun if you’re Black. We’re looking for that place which guaranteed us equal protection under the law, not protection if you can afford it. We’re looking for the place that enforces the Clean Air and Water Act. We’re looking for the place that said if we worked to better ourselves, we’d get the Dream greater than anything. We’re looking for America.    

We’re looking for a place where if you get sick you can see a doctor to treat you and not come away filing bankruptcy. We’re looking for a place where if you can get an education you can begin your career and attain your dream job, not dependent on nepotism, where if you fall on hard times there is an option to ensure you can pick back up where you left off to earn for your family because you paid your taxes. We’re looking for that place that doesn’t look blindly and believe crooks who say we can’t do it. We’re looking for those revolutionaries who said, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” We’re looking for America.

We’re looking for the reasons for the death of our dead overseas, and we learn  that fighting for regime change is wrong. We’re looking for the people who know that sending our family members to die on foreign soil should be discouraged. We’re looking for the place where we not only care for our veterans in speeches, but we care for our veterans by action. We’re looking for the place where we know not to honor traitors or racists who praised slavery and segregation. We’re looking for the heroes who fought it not only on the battlefield, but in Selma, in Chicago, in Alabama and anywhere in this nation. 

We’re looking for America.

We’re looking for a place that doesn’t reject science because of billionaires hellbent on earning an extra dollar. We’re looking for a place that not only has concern for the unborn but has concern for the people living in real time, a place where we’re helping disenfranchised children born without a dollar to their name. We’re looking for that place that remembers  the people that aren’t seen on TV, the ones who lost their jobs when their jobs were shipped off for cheaper labor. We’re looking for America.

We’re looking for a place while we count the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike hoping there isn’t a dangerous pothole ready to take a person’s life. We’re looking for a place that isn't falling apart because of hubris. We’re looking for a place where we invest in not bombs but roads. We’re looking for a place where we get rid of crime with education and not incarceration, where we can let our children enjoy being kids and not afraid to step out of their house. We’re looking for America.

I’m looking for a place which recognizes that “A nation rises above the fear and fight that haunts these streets.” You’re looking for the place that is ready to see change and not be indoctrinated by the elites which work against them. We’re all  looking for that red, white and blue flag which tells us we’re in America. 

Where is that place? Can we only conjure it up in our minds? Where is America? 

We’re looking for America.

BIO: Eddie is a young activist who works hard for progressive candidates and causes he believes in.  He lives and blogs in New Jersey.


Let's keep looking for the real America!
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Power to the people--not the corporations!

From Care2 Petitions:

The U.S. is making things worse in Venezuela. The threat of military intervention certainly isn't helping. Even worse, sanctions imposed on the country are crippling the economy and hurting the poorest Venezuelans the most. Tell the U.S. Government to drop the sanctions.
Whatever you may think of the Maduro Government, the restrictions imposed by the U.S. are counterproductive and laughably hypocritical.
Neighboring Colombia shares many of the same systemic problems of corruption, yet they receive aid, not sanctions. That's because Colombia's government agrees to toe the line on U.S. policy. And it just so happens that Venezeula has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. Maybe there's more to the story here than the sudden interest in the wellbeing of the people of Venezuela? Tell the U.S. Government: Drop the Sanctions, and Hands Off Venezuela!
How many times will the United States use warfare, whether through sanctions or stealth fighters, to impose their will on the rest of the world? Your voice can help ease the suffering of the Venezuelan people.
Thank you,

Corey Hill
The Care2 Petitions Team
P.S. The United States should not be punishing the people of Venezuela. End the crushing economic sanctions today!

From UltraViolet:
President Trump's heartless, bigoted immigration policies are fueling sexual abuse and rape--and Congress is financing it.

A new report just uncovered over 4,500 complaints of sexual abuse of immigrant children in government-funded detention facilities, within just four years.1 Under Trump's policy of "zero-tolerance" for immigrants, 859 complaints were submitted between March 2018 and July 2018--the highest in any five-month span covered by the report. This does not even count several women and teenage girls raped or killed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents.2

It’s sickening and difficult to imagine having children ripped from your arms and sexually abused. These families are already fleeing unimaginable violence and poverty, only to be further traumatized by our government.
Members of Congress have been facing demands to hold ICE and CBP accountable for months, but the increasing reports of abuse may be enough to get them to change this fundamentally abusive and racist system. 

Immigration rights and progressive leaders like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez have been calling to abolish ICE altogether to push back against Trump's policies of hate and fear. Join them in calling for an end to this violence--tell Congress to defund ICE and CBP for good.
Tell Congress: Stop the sexual assault of migrant children and women under Trump. Defund ICE and CBP.
Sign the petition
Trump actually tried to justify his demand for a border wall by citing stories of exploitation of immigrant women by smugglers. But his draconian and racist policies have forced more immigrants and asylum seekers underground and into the hands of smugglers. And even after being detained by enforcement officials, they face the threat of being raped and assaulted by ICE and border patrol agents.3

Congress, at the behest of Trump, is planning to give millions of new dollars to ICE and CBP,4 agencies that are responsible for extreme violence against women and children. And Trump wants to squeeze more out of Congress through his schemes to shut the government down and declare a fake "national emergency."

We can't let that happen. That's why UltraViolet is joining immigrants rights leaders all over the country to push back against Trump's anti-immigrant hate and force Congress to defund ICE and CBP.

Add your name now and tell Congress to defund ICE and the CBP.

Thanks for speaking out!
-- Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Holly, Kathy, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Emma, Pilar, Natalie, Melody, Pam, Lindsay, Ryan, Sonja, and Noma, the UltraViolet team

1. Thousands of Immigrant Children Said They Were Sexually Abused in U.S. Detention Centers, Report Says, New York Times, February 27, 2019.
2. 'You Have to Pay With Your Body': The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border, New York Times, March 3, 2019.
3. Ibid.
4. Border Security, Foreign Aid and a Raise for Federal Workers: What You Need to Know About the Spending Package, New York Times, February 14, 2019.

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