Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Revolutionary Resolutions

Revolutionary Resolutions for 2017

Do you have any "New Year's Resolutions" for the political revolution?

Here are some brave political revolutionaries' resolutions:

"My resolution for 2017 is to not give up on exposing the puppets. At every opportunity, I will expose their lies and propaganda. I will write about them, protest in the streets to bring attention to their lies, talk about them online, with friends and acquaintances, but I won't stop exposing the oligarchs and their puppets for the evil men they are." --C.A.M.

"My resolution for 2017 is to help build and promote the Green Party US, so that we have an actual alternative to the two corporatist parties which can be a contender in future contests." --Giovanna X

"Watchdogs without teeth are useless. Obtaining legislative seats is the only way to put bite in the bark." --Mark C.

"I don't know if its considered a resolution, but my hope is to get more

involved. To get to some marches and meetings. To get more politically involved friends. And to change the things we cannot accept. There is a lot of work to do." --Kim G.

"I plan in 2017 to make it obvious to Big Oil and the DAPL builders that their days are numbered... Green energy sources such as solar, wind and wave action are the only way to save our planet. I will do all I can to bring about this greener future." --Coast Watcher

Please share your resolution in the comment box (below). Now isn't the time to hesitate--now is the time to make plans and take action. Let the world know you're fighting back. Power to the people!


A Look Back...

The following essay was posted at the Mad-as-Hell Party Facebook page in late March 2016 during the height of the "Any Blue Will Do" ruckus. Does it still ring true to you in the post-election world, Berners?

My Response to the "Any Blue Will Do" Crowd 
by A True Bernie Believer

I realize you probably mean well, that you’re only “looking out for me” and others like me, but you really have to stop it. Stop the Facebook postings and the online comments saying, “If you don’t say you’ll vote for Hillary in the general election, then you’re a traitor to the Democratic party or you’re really a Trump supporter or you’re acting selfish/brain dead, etc.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Those types of unkind remarks make me, and others like me, very uncomfortable and don’t convince us as to the sincerity of your argument. Here’s why.

I will only vote for a person who sits well with my conscience or whose words and actions are aligned with my dearly held beliefs. In other words, I won’t vote for someone or something that I don’t wish to have my good name associated with ever. A very short list of things that I don’t like my good name to be associated with are: greed, hate, prejudice, violence, war, habitual lying, and criminal activities of any kind. A person who has become associated with any of these actions will not appeal to me either as a friend or as a political candidate. If I can’t trust a person to walk my dog or pick up my kids after school for me when my dentist’s appointment goes long or even to pick up my mail when I’m out of town without opening it, then I won’t consider voting for this person. Get it?

I’m sure you’ll understand my next statement, but I will spell it out clearly and give you some examples so you’re not confused. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is a person whose actions and words have placed her on my short list of things that I don’t want my name associated with ever since she epitomizes each and every one of these despised things. 

Greed -- $225,000 for a twenty minute speech to Goldman-Sachs and others like them? Come on! That’s the epitome of greed. Fundraisers that cost $353,400 just to sit beside her at a table rank up there as well. Don’t even get me going about the Clinton Foundation’s “donors” who have filtered millions into the Clinton’s personal coffers from such places as Saudi Arabia where they’ll chop off your head if you go against their interpretation of the Koran. Which leads me to the next topic, hate. Hillary’s famous “Super Predators” remarks about young black men and her support of D.O.M.A. covers it for me. 

Hillary’s actions tell me that if you’re not rich, white and can’t afford a ticket to one of her fundraisers she doesn’t particularly like you. If you’re gay--it depends on the audience she’s trying to raise funds from it seems as to whether she’ll accept your marriage. I haven’t heard she’s giving back all the money she and Bill made from his signing the bill that created the privatization of prisons, for-profit-prisons which incarcerate so many people of color. I’ve not heard Hillary making atonement for their sins against their fellow human beings by returning the millions made from their grand enslavement-for-profit scheme. 

Prejudice? See the Super Predator and private-for-profit prisons examples. You could also include the remarks made by Hillary spokeswoman Madeline Albright stating there is a “special place in hell for women who don’t vote for other women.” I have, in fact, voted for many women in my lifetime and will continue to do so, but I will not vote for any candidate who makes specious arguments such as that one. Why should I go against my conscience and better sense to vote for any human being, regardless of gender, who stands for all I despise and detest? Why am I going to “hell” for not wanting to be associated with such bigotry and narrow-mindedness?

War/Violence: It’s the same with voting for a warhawk -- I won’t do it. Hillary Clinton idealizes Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State who invented carpet bombing. The illegal carpet bombing of Cambodia lead to the Pol Pot regime, which in turn lead to the horrible genocide of 3,000,000 people. Yes, that’s three million human beings--not three hundred heads of lettuce. 

I suppose that’s why Hillary could vote for the Iraq War as a senator and sponsor violent “regime change” as Secretary of State and not lose any sleep over it. Who cares about all those orphaned children from Honduras who even now flood our borders? Hillary got the “regime change” she wanted there, right? What’s the death of so many if they can’t afford to attend one of your fundraisers in the first place?

You’ll say I’m being unfair to poor Hillary, that’s she not a very smart or educated woman, so how was she to know that the Iraq War was only a giant farce to keep Big Oil and the Military Industrial Complex making billions of dollars at a few hundreds of thousands of soldiers’ expense? What’s the problem with losing your legs to an I.E.D. or your mind to P.T.S.D.? It’s not like these returned soldiers are suffering any. 

Oh, you tell me Hillary is actually a lawyer with a graduate degree… Any claim that she’s not educated or smart enough to “know better” is yet another specious argument then, isn’t it? And why should a female get away with using the “I’m just too ignorant to know better” card? That’s sexist to think she’s a “dumb blonde,” right? Sexism is a form of prejudice, too. Why would you use it as an excuse for immoral behavior?

If you can’t come up with any reasons on your own as to why Hillary Clinton is known as a habitual liar (a “flip-flopper”) and hasn’t had her name connected with numerous criminal activities such as her private email server used for State Department classified information, Bill’s electioneering for her in Massachusetts, and the voter suppression activity in Arizona recently, then you don’t get out much obviously, and I’m sorry for you. 

Back in the 1990s, Hillary’s middle name was “Baggage” as in there were too many scandals and lies to be believed revolving around her and her husband on a constant basis. It became sickening to read of the latest scandal in the headlines. You lost all faith in the name Clinton, honestly, and they had only themselves to blame. No one put a gun to their heads and said, “Make money like this or else! Sleep around all you like or else!” Nope, they did it of their own volition.

I came to the conclusion that any hint of criminality surrounding a person is a
sign that perhaps the candidate isn’t a person you should be trusting in positions of power in any way, shape or form. You don’t give the fox the keys to the hen house, do you? You can’t expect me to be that na├»ve, do you?

Oh, but Hillary was only “bending the rules a little” and she’s only saying “little white lies” you’ll claim. All right, let’s say your spouse/significant other tells you a “little white lie” such as “I’m not cheating on you, honey,” but eventually you discover you’ve contracted AIDS from him/her fooling around… Isn’t a “little white lie” every bit as destructive as a “big lie” and perhaps even worse because you can easily trick others into believing it for longer until the damage is done? 

Of course, you and I and other ordinary people can “bend the rules a little” all we like, correct? That’s why we never are ticketed for speeding or for parking in a handicap space by mistake, right? 

Everyone “bends the rules” all the time you say… Sure they do. That’s why we have punishments such a jail sentences and fines--to prevent us from bending the rules constantly. But I bet if you’re very rich and are white with super-rich friends on Wall Street, in Big Pharma, and the Corporate Media you get to avoid jail while you bend the rules. Rich people don’t suffer punishment for their criminal activities, do they? How many billionaire banksters went to jail for the 2008 debacle that costs millions of Americans their homes, their jobs, and their retirement savings? Zero. 

When you don't get caught it's not a crime, right? If you get away with murder, you don't have a dead body and grieving family either.

Next thing you’ll try to convince me that it’s “Okay for politicians to bend the rules because they all do it.” My answer is “How do you know all politicians bend the rules?” Could it be Hillary and Bill Clinton’s names come up so often with the word "scandal" in the headline is because they’re the Olympic Gold Medal-Winners of Rule Bending and Getting Away with It? And I’d want my good name to be associated with people who can’t follow the rules and get away with it because…? I want others to think I condone rule breaking and criminal activity of any kind? Call me old-fashioned, but no, thank you.

Luckily for me--and for all of us--there is another presidential candidate who doesn’t give me the outright creeps like Mr. Trump does and who doesn’t stand for anything on my short list of things I despise. In fact, this individual stands for the things that I admire most: Compassion, Tolerance, Equal Opportunity, Peace, Prosperity, Truth. If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 11 months, you might not know his name: Senator Bernie Sanders. In spite of the corporate media black-out and in spite of your “concern trolling” trying to get me to vote for Hillary, Bernie is gaining popularity every day. You just have to watch one of his campaign rallies (many available online via You Tube) full of thousands of cheering people to see how he connects with ordinary Americans.

Bernie talks about how we need to be united as a people, and how we need to look out for each other so our brothers and sisters aren’t suffering from hunger or lack of health care. He talks about how education should help you grow as an individual and become a productive member of society, not simply a debt slave to the private banksters making money off of high interest on your student loans. 

Bernie talks about fair wages for fair jobs, not obscene profits made by billionaires who ship all their wealth to the Cayman Islands to avoid paying their fair share of taxes at the same time they ship our jobs overseas to China. He and Senator McCain worked “across the aisle” to create a veteran’s bill that helps vets get the care they need at V.A. hospitals. Bernie’s nickname is “The Amendment King” because as an independent he’s been a very successful legislator in a very divided Congress. He works hard for hard-working Americans.

Bernie Sanders walked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other activists to help strengthen the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s, while Hillary Clinton was a “Goldwater Girl” for Barry Goldwater, a Republican presidential candidate who didn’t care much for desegregation. No, Bernie’s name hasn’t been listed over and over again in the headlines with the word scandal next to it like Hillary’s, simply because Bernie has been busy working for the people since he was elected to Congress. He isn’t about making millions of dollars for himself or sidling up to super-rich campaign contributors and Wall Street fat cats. 

Bernie doesn’t even have a super PAC, and he wants to end the disastrous Citizens United ruling that allows billionaires to buy elections. His campaign has been funded by ordinary voters like you and me with an average contribution of $27. I definitely feel more at home with people who only afford a couple of bucks to donate to Bernie’s campaign than with those who can afford a $353,400 ticket to a Hillary fundraiser while many Americans go hungry and homeless.

I’d trust Bernie to walk my dog, pick up my kids from school for me or pick up my mail when I’m out of town. Bernie Sanders is the epitome of trustworthiness. My conscience tells me Bernie is a candidate I can support wholeheartedly without reservation. Why should I sell my ideals short and vote for anyone other than Bernie Sanders?

I hope you see now how bullying or threatening me with “Dems all stick
together!” and “Any blue will do!” taunts aren’t going to make me change my mind or my conscience. One, why would I want to “stick together” with a political party that would support a candidate like Hillary Clinton who stands for what I despise? And two, why would “any” person with a certain political party attached to his or her name “do” as well as another? It sounds like I’d be settling for second-best or worse if I went with an “any”, and I don’t believe in “voting for the lesser of two evils”. There is only “evil.” I don’t want to vote for it either as a “first rate evil” or a “second-best evil”. 

Remember what I said about “little white lies” and “big lies”? There’s no such thing. A lie is a lie is a lie. An evil is an evil is an evil. There are no “shades of gray” when it comes to such things. Can you only be “partially dead”? You either have a death certificate or you don’t, right?

To tell me to “vote for this evil because I tell you so” to avoid yet another evil is to tell me that you are okay with cooperating with evil with a different label, and therefore, you have taken on the characteristics of the evil candidate you are trying to get me to support along with you. Ugh. Don’t be surprised if you find me not trusting you as I did in the past, for how can I be sure my dog, my kids or my mail is safe in your hands in you’ve placed your trust in an evil candidate and have accepted their evilness as “okay”? 

That’s why as a friend I’m telling you to stop with the “must vote Hillary” posts right now. Don’t make me not trust you anymore. Once trust is lost, it’s not easily regained. Sometimes it’s never regained. If you’ve ever dealt with a cheating loved one, you’d understand how devastating losing trust can be. 

Because I love and care about you, I want to trust you and your judgment. So stop, listen to your conscience. Don’t make excuses to cooperate with evil. Focus on a positive candidate who espouses a positive future for all Americans. A future to believe in! Focus on what all you can do to help Bernie Sanders win the White House today. The positive energy of working hard for Bernie (who works hard for you) will take all those negative “any blue will do” thoughts away. Feel the Bern and become a part of the Not Me Us crowd.

(Feel free to share if it can help you explain your position to others.)

 Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Progressive New Year to You and Yours from your friends at the Our Revolution Continues Blog.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays--Welcome to Trumpland!

Welcome to Trumpland!
by Cindy A. Matthews

"I thought I was living in the Midwest in 2016--not the Deep South in 1861."

This remark sums up the feeling of one individual waking up in "Trumpland, USA" recently, an area that covers a vast red political swatch in the middle of the country. A Confederate flag displayed alongside a US flag and several Trump/Pence signs fills a neighbor's front yard. The election has been over for weeks, and yet the visible reminder of this neighbor's jubilation remains, and no one has made him take the political display down. Further observations noted:

"Don't tell me he's just 'sticking it to the man,' either, with that rebel flag. He has a Deport All the Muslims bumper sticker beside the Make America Great sticker on his truck parked in the drive. It says to me he's a racist, plain and simple."

(Is hate crime on the rise since the election? Read: Trump's Election Sees More than 1000 Hate Crimes in a Month and
Tracking the Explosion of Hate in Trump's America)

Many Berners/progressives are finding the 2016 holiday season challenging. First, many experienced uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinners with family members of differing worldviews mere days after the election. Recently, there came the awful realization of just how horrible a Trump cabinet could be:

"Is he (Trump) deliberately picking people who are going to destroy the department they head or is that going to be a happy coincidence when they do? And why would you put Ben Carson in charge of anything--the guy's clearly insane."

(More info on Trump's cabinet and ambassador picks here and here and here.)

 With daily headache-provoking headlines about Trump's latest tweet, many of us long for a return to the days of last December when a Bernie Sanders' victory seemed to be within our grasp. 2016 was going to be the year we turned our country--and perhaps the entire world--around from the brink of disaster:

"I was excited every time I heard Bernie speak. We were going to fix health care and bail out students in debt and stop the endless wars for oil and start a green energy program and save our planet from the ravages of climate change and..." (Pause for breath.) "Wow. I'm excited all over again just to think about how strong a leader Bernie was going to be on all of these issues."

That's one thing to keep in mind--that no matter how "cold" Trumpland seems to be in 2017, we still have the "heat" generated by the excitement and direction Bernie Sanders first gave us in 2015-2016. Remember what Bernie said about the political revolution? "Not me us." We should stand confident and assume leadership positions to move forward. His words give us inspiration. (And several groups are doing their best to find and train these leaders: Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, and Politics Reborn just to name three.)

Perhaps, at the end of this year, the best gift won't be one we find wrapped in a box under our tree but in ourselves. We've been given the gift of hope. We've been given each other. Let's walk hand-in-hand into the future and together make it one we all can believe in. 

I think Bernie would like that, don't you?

(Names and other identifying details have been deleted at the quoted individuals' request.)


The gift of health care is one every American deserves this holiday season. The concept Bernie discussed on the campaign trail of Medicare for All isn't dead--it's still be debated in many government circles--so let's not ease up on this issue. Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point is an excellent one hour documentary you should watch with your friends and family. It very clearly explains the issue, the propaganda being used by the private health insurance industry against the Medicare for All concept, and why even big business sees single-payer health care as the only way to go forward into a prosperous future.

You can read my review of Fix It at the Political Storm blog by clicking here. Watch the entire  documentary free online at http://fixithealthcare.com/watch-the-movie/    

Please share the video and review links with others. I hope Fix It will inspire you to help make the coming years better for all Americans.

Another gift I'd like to share with you is the gift of a victory. It's a very small
victory against a very big corporate machine, but it's a victory, nonetheless.  Read We the People Take Action -- and Win and see if you don't feel a tiny bit better. We won't shut down all the pipelines overnight, but if we stand together and stay strong, never wavering in our opposition to Big Oil, we'll eventually see them disappear.

May the coming year bring us a safer and healthier world--and to all a peaceful and love-filled holiday season!

And now some very wise words from Bern Notice...

Happy Holidays
by Bern Notice

Happy Holidays. Apparently, at this time of year, this greeting is more offensive to Christmas Crusaders than saying anything else. For some reason some people think that if you don't say the exact term Merry Christmas you are declaring war on their religion or their favorite holiday.

It seems as though they don't understand why some people simply say Happy Holidays instead. I thought this would be the perfect time to at least attempt to explain why to those who can't imagine a December greeting without the word Christmas in it.

Contrary to popular belief, Christmas is not the only holiday in December.

There is another important holiday during this month called Hanukkah, which starts on December 24th and concludes on January 1st. It too is a Biblical (Torah) based holiday celebrated by people of Jewish decent. 

"Chanukah  is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime 'festival of lights,' celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods. The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple."
Reference: http://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/article_cdo/aid/102911/jewish/What-Is-Hanukkah.htm

Unless you think that Jewish people who celebrate this holiday as opposed to Christmas should have to center their religious practices around yours, how can you reasonably argue that "God's chosen people" are declaring war on Christianity or your holiday?

There is another lesser known celebrated holiday called Kwanzaa. It is a holiday that is celebrated by some people of African ancestry.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. Reference: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/kwanzaa-history

Since it is a lesser known holiday, and not one typically celebrated by people of European ancestry, is there a war on Kwanzaa? Should people who celebrate Kwanzaa start protesting with the hashtag #BlackCandlesMatter?

Then there are those who are pagans; they celebrate Yule or the winter solstice. This year Yule falls on December 21st. Then there is Festivus (yes, it really is a thing) which falls on December 23rd. This is a holiday celebrated by secular people (agnostic, atheist, non-religious) who don't celebrate Christmas.

The point here really is that the War on Christmas crowd has it backwards. Christmas is the most recognized and celebrated winter holiday. It is rare to see a person come out and demand a ban on Christmas. On the other hand, you seldom see people demanding Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule or Festivus on cups. Nor do they demand that everyone celebrate it.

Saying Happy Holidays is just wishing you the best holiday wishes for whatever holiday you choose to celebrate. Unfortunately, the Christmas Crusaders want to ram their particular holiday in the faces of everyone, to exclude those who celebrate other holidays or no holiday at all.

The bottom line is there's no real war on Christmas. The Christmas crusade is simply a means of saying my belief--my holiday--matters while yours don't count. It's about marginalizing the beliefs and traditions of people who believe differently. It's a war on everything else. That's what the real war is.

By the way, Happy Holidays! :)

BIO: A political revolutionary with a heart, Bern Notice shares his insights on Google+


From Brand New Congress:

We need your help! We’ve been hard at work researching every single one of the 435 congressional districts in America, but we need real local expertise to truly understand how to win in every district. We know that local knowledge is something that gets built up over years, and you simply can’t hope to gain that kind of knowledge without living in a place.

Please tell us about your district by filling out this questionnaire.

Here is the kind of information we’re looking for from you:

  • We can tell from Ballotpedia that a district is majority Hispanic, but if you live there you may know that it is actually majority Puerto Rican and to win, you really need to understand the Puerto Rican community.
  • We can find out who the largest employers are in a community, but if you live there you may know important details about the relationship between those companies and the local economy.
  • We can tell from Wikipedia that your district is highly Christian, but if you live there you may know what the big denominations are.

The scale of our task here is huge: we need to understand and run in up to 435 congressional districts! We can do it if YOU lend us your expertise and local knowledge!

Yours for the revolution,
The BNC Working Group

PS: Your support has allowed 5 full-time staff and a team of volunteers to research and evaluate over 2,500 candidate nominations and narrow them down to 37 exceptional nominees that have gone through at least 3 rounds of thorough vetting. Please help us keep our small team of staff doing this important work by donating $3, $27 or whatever you can afford!

Remember, it's...

Happy Holidays to you and yours from your friends at 
the Our Revolution Continues blog!