Monday, September 26, 2016

Free Your Mind! Common Sense 2.0

Free Your Mind!

The Founding Fathers didn't pull any punches when it came to calling out corruption and coercion caused by organizations  pretending to have their voters' needs in mind while craving more power and wealth for themselves.
George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson disapproved of political parties, especially a system built around two major parties.

In his Farewell Address, Washington referred to, “The alternate domination of one faction over another" as a “frightful despotism.” Adams said, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties… This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

Jefferson went beyond a mild dislike of political parties. He held them in outright contempt: “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

Yeow! I wonder, if we hooked a turbine up to George, John and Tom in their graves, could we power a city with the power generated by their spinning?

It amazes me still that in this day and age we have American voters brainwashed into thinking they "have to vote" for either the Democrat or the Republican on their ballot. Sure, they may have noticed an occasional strange party listed after the name of a candidate farther down the list, but they paid it no mind. There are only two parties after all, right?

Are they blind or simply deluded?  No one takes Civics classes in high school anymore, obviously, but it can't be the only reason we have so many minds enslaved to this limiting and destructive philosophy.  It just can't be.

Why are so many convinced this myth is true--along with the myth of  voting for one candidate will somehow elect another one? Have these misguided voters deliberately locked their common sense away to keep their conscious mind from realizing they've been duped? Is the psychic pain so great they've willingly laid down their  power of the vote and freely given it over to untrustworthy and undeserving individuals?

It's time to break free, people! We must break the chains that enslave us to a corrupt and broken system. Free our minds and use our votes to empower a true democracy, free from the influences of private corporations and their bribed lackeys, free from the one establishment party masquerading as two.

It reminds me of the chorus of a popular song: "Free your mind and the rest will follow."  In order to see positive change in our society, we must think positive and break the chains of ignorance, myth and superstition.

In other words, first we'll have to resurrect good ol' common sense. Bern Notice reminds us what another famous Founding Father had to say about it.

Common Sense 2.0
by Bern Notice

Common Sense was a book written by Thomas Paine in 1776.  US describes it:  

"Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain."


More than 200 years later the United States is no longer a colony to England. However, everyday voters have been subservient to the two big parties. It may be time to resurrect and update Common Sense for the 21st century. This will not be written to advocate for war, but to advocate for reform in the political process. It will be far from a literary masterpiece, but why not have a little fun with it?

Common Sense 2.0

The current state of affairs in modern politics is reflective of a truly corrupt institution. Lobbyists and multimillionaires get policy that is to their benefit. Politicians and other elitists are not accountable to the laws that they create. This is unconscionable.

Yet many are willing to allow those whom are appointed to political office to ignore our needs. We, the millions of working class citizens of The United States must demand reform and redress to the following grievances:

One: Overturn Citizens United and reduce the influence of money in politics. It

is one thing to accept money to win a nomination. It is quite another to be a slave to it. When the influence of money grows so great, as it has, that it makes public servant serve private interests instead, then this is neither a truly representative republic nor a democracy.

Two: End the two party stranglehold on the political system. We live in a nation of over 320 million people. 42% of voters in the U.S. identify as independent. This is a sizable chunk of the voting population. Roughly 30% identify as Democrat. 26% identify as Republican. This is not a nation that simply has two viewpoints. With that being the case, why do we insist on holding on the archaic two party model when it is reasonably clear that there are a number of citizens that want another option?


The UK and Canada have a number of political parties with representation in the government, and the world has not come to an end. Why must we settle for two?


Three: Equal justice under the law is paramount to a civilized society. When

politicians and billionaires get away with crimes that your average citizen would be crucified for, we have lost control of our society. When police kill a citizen when the subject has been neutralized, regardless of ethnicity or gender, there need to be held accountable and face consequences for their actions. We cannot permit a two tiered justice system.

Four: There must be time allocated on the public airways for journalism that informs and educates. There is a vast difference between journalism and infotainment. Journalism documents the facts and events that affect the lives of citizens. Infotainment is geared towards ratings and deliberately placing bias on events. We currently have the latter.

Five: We want domestic policy to become the priority again. If we could find the money to spend $2 trillion per year on the war in Iraq, then how can you argue that you can't increase spending on schools ($621 Billion) and infrastructure ($416 Billion)?


If you are tired of being ignored, if you are tired of the needs of the few being served at the expense of the many, then this is the moment where the working class citizens of all ethnic and political stripes must unite and make our public servants serve us again. We should make this nation be about "We the people" as is written in the preamble of our constitution. It is either reform and equality, or its corruption and oligarchy. You can't have both. After all, isn't that common sense?

Bio: Bern Notice rallies the troops with his progressive insights on Google+.

The song continues, "Free your mind and the rest will follow. Be color blind--don't be so shallow."

Unfortunately this year we're seeing a lot of shallow individuals taking the stage in the political realm. This Ohio Trump campaign chair gives us an excellent example of a truly shallow mind in this video clip.  

We'll touch more upon this topic in next week's blog. Suffice it to say, we must free our minds from the bondage of racism and bigotry. It truly kills all growth in the garden of common sense. It kills all attempts to encourage brotherhood and compassion toward our fellow human beings, too.

Prejudice takes many forms. One of its disguises is when another demands you to think or vote "their way or the highway" without regard to your common sense and values. This is demonstrated by those who believe Bernie supporters cannot vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party for president "because Bernie Sanders forbade us to."  And yet, we have evidence that Bernie does, in fact, actively support our right to vote our conscience--and he even supports Greens running for office, as this next piece shows...

Bernie Sanders Supports a Green Candidate
by A. J. Matthews

It isn't easy being Green. Larry Sanders, big brother of US Senator Bernie Sanders, is standing for election to the constituency of Witney, Oxfordshire, England. Recently vacated by former Prime Minister David Cameron, the constituency isn't the most fertile ground for a Green revolution. Cameron successfully defended his seat in the 2015 General Election with a 22,700+ majority for the Conservative Party, but retired social worker Larry, 82, has hopes of expanding Britain's awareness of the Green movement. In a recent interview with the Guardian newspaper, Sanders said “Because of Bernard, I’ve become famous, and I will get more attention from the media, and that’s to be used to get the Green Party’s policies across.”

The Green Party has one Member of Parliament, the party's co-leader, Caroline Lucas. She won the Brighton Pavilion seat in the 2010 General Election. In keeping with other so-called "minor" parties the Greens do well at the local level, and have a number of councilors in towns and cities across the UK. Much like the United States it is a struggle for other parties to make themselves heard over the blanketing effect caused by the two "big" parties. In Britain's case these are the Conservative (Tory) Party and the Labour Party. Unlike the US, though, it's far easier to run for election in the UK, something the minor parties take full advantage of.
People wishing to stand as an MP must be over 18 years of age, be a British citizen or citizen of a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland. Candidates must be nominated by ten parliamentary electors of the constituency they wish to stand in. Authorisation is required to stand for a specific party, otherwise candidates will be described as independent or have no description. In order to encourage only serious candidates to stand, a £500 deposit is required when submitting the nomination papers - returned if the candidate receives over five per cent of the total votes cast.

Larry states that the focus of his efforts in this by-election campaign will be on matters which would not normally considered part of the Green manifesto, but which nevertheless have a major impact on the lives of ordinary people. He opposes the privatization of social care and Britain's much-loved National Health Service (NHS), a policy the Conservatives have pursued to little success for decades. The furor generated by the Brexit vote has created a smokescreen behind which the Conservatives appear to be plotting to privatize the NHS. Strikes by medical staff and protests by concerned citizens have erupted against the move across the UK.

The neo-liberalism of the Labour Party under the premierships of Tony Blair and, later, Gordon Brown is also a target for Sanders' ire. Under the Labour government and the later coalition government of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, corporations and the very rich have been able to avoid paying taxes. The lowest 10% in income pay a higher proportion of tax than the highest 10%.

More traditional Green concerns for the environment will also be addressed by Larry Sanders. Under the previous UK governments climate deterioration and sensible policies to switch to renewable energy were ignored. A recent vote against fracking in the county of Yorkshire showed an overwhelming opposition to the move at 99.2%, yet Cameron's government gave the go-ahead in spite of this. Sanders wants to promote better insulation in British housing and green measures to further the use of renewable energy.

Much like his brother's campaign in the United States, social inequality is also a target for Sanders. He points to an increase in inequality in Britain over the last 30 years that’s having serious consequences, particularly in the housing market where many people can't afford houses who once would have experienced little trouble.

He faces a fierce fight from the other candidates who will contend the Oxfordshire seat on behalf of the Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour parties. With the Labour party in disarray over the leadership challenge by Blairite neoliberals against Jeremy Corbyn, a man much like Bernie Sanders in political outlook, Larry Sanders may well stand a chance of gaining ground. 

Bernie Sanders may not get involved in the election on his brother's behalf due to conventions against foreign politicians seeking to influence domestic government. Even so, his fame in the UK is an asset his brother will capitalize on.

It remains to be seen if Larry Sanders can make headway against an entrenched mindset in a traditional Tory seat, or if he can break through an make a successful case for Green policies. In any case, I wish him luck. His younger brother has certainly shaken the American Establishment to its core, and I hope Larry will do the same in Britain.

 Bio: A. J. Matthews is a Brit living in the United States. He watches the candidates closely on both sides of the Atlantic and says, "Free your mind--vote Green."

Watch the video at the bottom of this blog page or click this link to hear Bernie's exact words on the subject. Always vote your conscience, your values. After all, it's your mind. Free it from the enslavement of establishment thinking.

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!"