Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Carols for the New Era

A gift many of us are hoping the Electoral College will consider.

Carols for the New Era
We've entered an era of fear and dread. Not many feel like singing of "Peace on Earth" when so many are suffering from so little attention given to their needs for food, shelter and clean water. It's not a time to sing "Joy to the World!" when there's little joy to be gained from the knowledge that millions of votes in Michigan alone weren't counted and Wisconsin voting machines had their tamper seals broken. 

And freedom of speech and the freedom not to be spied upon by our own government? To quote Bloom County's Bill the Cat: "Aaack! Pfft!"

Presenting a collection of carols for the new era:

Let Him Go (Home) 
(Sung to the tune Let It Snow)

Our government is surely lying
because Ed caught it outright spying
How'd we know this fact to be so?
Let him go! Let him go! Let him go!

Our cell phones the Fed's been tapping
This info has us hap'ly clapping
By his sacrifice it came to show
Let him go! Let him go! Let him go!

When Ed finally came to say
How he hated living far from his home
A year-end pardon is all he wants
Why can't Obama grant one over the phone?

Our democracy is quickly dying
'Cause our human rights are flying
Out the door--there's naught to crow, so--
Let Ed go! Let Ed go! Let Ed go... home!

Oh, Little Town of Washington (Sung to the tune of Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem)

Oh, little town of Washington--
Corrupt and backward DC!
Filled with one-percent brown-nosers
Bribed servants--far as the eye can see
Yet in your dark halls shineth
The wisdom of one so bright
Our hopes and fears from this past year
Need Bernie's leadership tonight!

Oh, little town of Washington
Your politicians lie!
Lobbyists purchase base men's souls
For a bigger slice of pie
You've silenced all progressives
To keep us in the dark
That way you rule with greedy fools
With morals of a shark

Oh, little town of Washington
How sad it is to know
The bought-off mainstream media
Killed all chance for it to grow
A dynamic coalition
Led by Bernie and the Greens
Gov'ment for all and one that calls
For investment in energy clean!

God Help Us--Racist Donald Trump! (Sung to the tune of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen)

God help us! Racist Donald Trump

Has made the Hillbots pay
They've installed a fascist dictator
Through blatant pay-to-play
The Dems' manipulation
Has led us all astray

O-oh, regrets of a country destroyed, country destroyed
O-oh, regrets of a country destroyed

God help us! Racist Donald Trump
Has made the pundits laugh
His choice of cab'net sec'taries
Is nothing short of daft
Without Bernie's guidance
We'll land knee-high in crap

O-oh, regrets of a country destroyed, country destroyed
O-oh, regrets of a country destroyed

Here's some e-candy (below) for your stocking to help deal with the pain of a Trump presidency. If you have any new words for carols for the new era, email them to us at thebernieblog2016@gmail.com Thank you.

Now we take a closer look at what's happening in Europe and
how it closely parallels the results of our recent election.

The Rise of the Right
by Adrian J. Matthews

Over the last decade European politics has undergone a broad and significant shift to the right. The Sweden Democrats, the French National Front, the Dutch Party for Freedom, and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) have all made inroads into mainstream politics. The recent Austrian election saw a tight race between the far-right Freedom Party and the Green Party--and the latter won only after a recount. Dutch Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders was recently convicted of hate speech following comments he made during the country’s 2014 elections. In spite of this, the party is leading the polls ahead of the March 2017 parliamentary elections in the Netherlands.

With history downgraded to a minor role in some national schools’ curricula, it’s not entirely surprising the lessons learned from World War II are overlooked by the modern generation of young adults. Ignorance rules. Without the lesson of history, the rampant right-wing nationalism in Germany and Italy that gave rise to the conflict is no longer seen as undesirable. It’s telling that the demographics show the majority of supporters for these right-wing parties are under 30 years of age. Unlike their grandparents, the terrible waste of lives seen seventy years ago in World War II isn’t even a part of their world view.

Much of the support for the Right stems from the refugee and economic migrant crisis gripping Europe. The mass migration of peoples from Africa and the Middle East into the European continent is causing conflict with the citizens of the EU nations. A sharp rise in crime, radical cultural differences and immigrants "taking our jobs" are the three predictable reasons given for this attitude. Fear of "the other" is rife. Such feelings play easily into the hands of the right-wing demagogues. It’s no secret that most, if not all, of the right-wing parties view the European Union with deep prejudice. To the far right national sovereignty is all. Surrendering more and more of a nation’s powers to govern itself to a centralized authority is anathema to them. Any laws or regulations that emerge from the EU parliament and bureaucracy promoting freedom of movement and legal rights for immigrants are decried in violent terms.

The EU doesn’t help matters by its insensitive "one-size-fits-all" approach to issuing rules and regulations. For instance, what may apply to Poland might not work at all well in France. What might suit Denmark and Sweden wouldn’t work in Spain or Italy. Again, this approach leads to dissatisfaction with the EU as a whole. Even the more progressive governments in member countries often view the diktat with unease. The benefits a country’s membership bring are often overshadowed by such sentiment. In many EU countries, moves to withdraw from the EU are on the rise, usually instigated by the political right. The shock result of the Brexit referendum, induced by UKIP, looks set to take the United Kingdom out of the EU. In spite of the result causing a shambles that has still not been addressed to anyone’s satisfaction, other member nations may follow Britain’s example.

All of which has the European Union leadership deeply worried.

During his State of the Union address on September 14 this year, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker recently referred to what he termed the “galloping populism” that is sweeping Europe. He announced that the next twelve months would be crucial for the European Union, that it faces a battle for survival in the face of rising nationalism. To quote Juncker, “the European Union doesn’t have enough union. There are splits out there and often fragmentation exists.”

Yet the EU’s approach to settling the refugee crisis seems mishandled and uneven. What is less obvious are the reasons why this mass movement of people is taking place. Climate change is affecting agriculture all over the world, especially in the developing nations of Africa. Once-fertile regions are yielding less and less crops as the years go by. Political unrest and extremism doesn’t help. In the Middle East, ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan contribute a woeful toll in refugees forced from their homes.

The fault for both wars and climate change lies squarely with Big Business. The military-industrial complex likes to keep wars at a rolling boil in order to make yet larger profits. Industry across the world prefers not to take steps to control the pollution it causes, since such controls cut into their profit margins. As a consequence people are forced out of their homes and country by war, climate change and economic decline, which leads in turn to rising conflict in the countries they eventually settle in. Big Business doesn’t care about such things, since it’s usually aligned with right-wing politics and generally benefits from strife.

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States caused shock waves around the world. The Right applauds it; the Left is appalled by it. To most political pundits the rise of the Right and the potential for another world war now seems inevitable. Some right-wing supporters are of the opinion that the world must be reduced to rubble so humanity can build anew. 
What the left-wing, liberal and progressive movements across the world can do about the matter before such a war breaks out remains to be seen. If enough progressive candidates can win elections at all levels of government in the First World countries then the potential Armageddon may not happen. The signs are there that such a left-wing backlash is growing – but will it grow large enough in time?

BIO: Adrian is a British citizen living in the USA, watching the political situation closely on both sides of the pond.

We just had our third All Hands call in which the volunteers and staff working to create a Brand New Congress got together to talk about our progress and the direction we’re headed in the future. We’re all incredibly grateful and privileged for the wonderful support we’ve received so far from people like you, and we’re excited to let you know how we are doing.

Here are some highlights of what we’ve accomplished so far:

  • We’ve received about 2,450 candidate nominations.
  • 34 of these nominees have gone through at least 3 rounds of thorough vetting.
  • Of these 34 nominees, we are ready to announce 5 candidates who we want to draft.
  • Our amazing volunteer-run help desk, led by Brad Lacke, has been answering every single question and piece of feedback.
  • Our volunteer-run call team, led by Andi Duncan, Caitlin Remmel, and Taylor Apodaca has been calling nearly 300 signups a week to unearth great nominees from our supporters across the country.
  • Our volunteer-led data management team has created a great tracking system that lets us find high-skilled volunteers for specific projects. This month we welcome new team lead Sandy Menor.
  • We’re launching a brand new website in the next couple weeks to introduce our first five candidate draftees.
  • Allison Jester, one of our excellent volunteers, put together a video explaining how to find candidates featuring Alex, Corbin and Issy from the BNC working group.
  • We’ve created a volunteer-run research team that is putting in work everyday to look up people in every single district to find potential candidates outside of just the nominations we are getting.
  • Another volunteer research team is currently hard at work researching the details of every single one of the 435 congressional districts in America so we know what we’re up against.

While we’re proud of how far we’ve come, we know there is a long road ahead. BNC is a campaign to recruit 400+ candidates to run in a unified campaign behind one plan to rebuild, reform and repair America. The whole idea here is to give America a way to really sweep Congress clean. We think that if we can announce a great slate of 400+ honest, dependable candidates, America will pledge to volunteer in huge numbers and donate millions of dollars to fund a powerful campaign. But there is a staggering amount of work to do to put together a slate of over 400 candidates, create a fully fleshed-out platform, and start creating the infrastructure necessary to run the biggest grassroots-backed national campaign ever. We know this won’t be easy, which is why all of us are working all-out to make it happen.

We’re committed to working until the very end to make a Brand New Congress a reality.  If you believe in our mission and want to see it through, please help us continue by contributing anything you can. Because of your support so far, we’ve been able to hire five full-time organizers and go to over 100 cities to recruit volunteers that have made all this work possible. Let’s keep the momentum going all the way to 2018.


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