Monday, October 16, 2017

Changing Perceptions

 Changing Perceptions
by Still Bernin'

So much is coming at us daily that it's hard to take it all in. Are we going to totally fry or flood our world through firestorm and hurricane by denying climate change? Are we going to start dropping nukes on North Korea and/or Iran? Are we going to allow the Trump administration to pick apart the Affordable Care Act until millions of Americans are without health care of any kind? Are we going to continue to allow the NRA to buy off and control our elected representatives? When will this nightmare of a short-sighted, self-centered, maniacal, materialistic government of the oligarchy end?

I hope it ends soon, but I'm realistic. There's no way we're going to see any progress on the challenging issues of our day until one major miracle occurs--millions of Americans experience a complete change of heart and develop a completely new mindset. Until we have a critical mass of Americans upset and angry over where our country is heading, many are content to keep their heads in the sand and their necks covered, backsides up in the air ready to receive their swift kick in the pants from the 1%.  It's just too hard on their brains to think about what's really happening in the world.

You may ask, "How can any American act so nonchalant about health care?" But they can--especially if they don't see themselves as ever being without private health insurance and are in good health now. (These lucky types suffer from "tomorrow never comes" syndrome. That is, until someone wipes out their Porsche and sends them to the E.R. with serious injuries and permanent disabilities.) 

"How can anyone be so
blasé about nuclear bombs falling," you say, feeling you've put an end to my argument. I can tell you for a fact there are some people who actually believe nuclear radiation is beneficial to your health and can't wait to start everything over from scratch. Yes, these people may not be the sharpest tool in the shed or the brightest bulb in the box, but they still vote--and support--idiots who share their same mistaken beliefs.

It seems the one common thread to all our current woes is how important it is to change the minds of people who act like they couldn't care less if they have one. But how do you change anyone's outlook on life, particularly those who can't be bothered? Do you use facts, information, comparisons, fear or ridicule? Whatever way you choose, it's not going to be easy. It takes persuasive skills beyond the average person's resume. It takes a patience far beyond normal limits.

But we can't give up trying. If we care about humanity and the planet, we've got to change their perception of reality. The stakes are too high for acting shy or polite or patient. We need to act loud, angry and frantic and grab their attention and keep it focused. Now is not the time to quit protesting in the streets--now is the time to kick it up a notch and invite the human ostriches you know to join in and become involved in the struggle alongside us. 

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Let's do our best to recycle and re-purpose those the establishment has fouled. Their owners may not thank us now, but they will thank us later, after they've read up on how nuclear radiation actually works.

Some related articles: 

Great video interview with John Perkins who says: "Changing perception changes reality."

Democracy movement gaining power--

Wow--you can win 3 books that every revolutionary shouldn't be without! 
(Click link below.)
Another area where hearts and minds need to change fundamentally is gun control. Here's what one young person feels is necessary for that change.
It’s Time to Have An Open Discussion on the Attack at Mandalay Bay and End the Stupidity in Congress
by Eddie Alvarado  

One week after the shooting at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, the death count is 59 and more than 500 people injured. The information slowly pours in and the insanity described in Congress is growing. It’s time to open real discussion, and end the bullshit excuses created by the GOP. 

Time and time again when a mass shooting happens we turn a blind eye to the source of the insanity. We have NRA money pouring into Republican Congressmen's wallets to stop whatever discussion that happens. They say the Democrats are infringing on the Second Amendment, and we need to protect the Constitution. The Republicans want to infringe upon the Amendments and the Constitution. They want to ban gay marriage, or tread the lines of a crisis and deny the rights of African Americans' right to vote. 

It’s time for Americans to get our heads out of our asses and open our eyes to how we're making it easier for these human piles of garbage to spill blood by letting them use gun show loopholes or not getting a background check before they purchase military grade assault rifles.

At the Mandalay Bay, the shooter had an extensive list of weapons:

·       5 handguns

·       2 shotguns

·       A “Plethora of ammunition”

·       In total, 42 guns

·       Ingredients for bomb making in his car

·       A rifle with a bump stock (an item used to convert semi-automatic weapons to automatic weapons)
Thoughts and prayers aren’t doing anything. Every time a shooting happens we say, “Let's not play politics and just pray.” This happened at Sandy Hook, Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando and this is happening now. And it’s going to happen again. We are going to have one mass shooting today somewhere in this nation, since at least once a day there is a mass shooting in this country according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

We have a  Congress for a reason in this nation to pass laws and try to fix these issues. But instead of doing their jobs, they use hubris and talk how we can’t do anything, while more than 60 times they've tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They've silently killed the CHIP program, which is doing more good for this country than people using military grade assault weapons to rain bullets on others. 

We have a chance to vote for gun regulation. 93% of Americans believe there should be background checks, but we have people on the terrorist watch list who can still get guns. I believe people should have guns if they would like, but it’s common sense to not let someone on the damn terrorist watch list, someone who has been eyed by police as a potential red flag, to get a gun. 

We have the rights to bear arms to ensure security of a free state, and a right to a well regulated militia, but we ignore that part because the NRA says so. This amendment was made in the time when little muskets would wound someone and the infection from it did the rest of the job. But we now live in a time when armor piercing bullets are readily available to people, and a lot of times it’s one shot = confirmed kill.

We apparently have the right to bear military grade assault weapons to go on a massacre because NRA lobbyists and their right wing drones believe the government is going to roll into their neighborhood within a split second, so they have to load up. We have our priorities so out of order that it’s apparently an issue to ask for a background check to buy a gun, but we need permits to build shit in our backyards, on our own private property. We have to get a background check when applying for a job or to work if you’re a kid. Its common sense to get a background check to make sure you aren’t bats hit crazy or a terrorist before we give you a weapon which could kill an extensive amount of people.

It shows we have a problem in this country when even Jay Dickey believed the Dickey Amendment was not the way to go after all. We need to let research happen. If research happened, and it confirmed what many believe, that the looser the gun laws, the more mass shootings happen, the NRA would fund to suppress the information, or we’d have GOP senators and representatives call it fake news or a Chinese hoax. It’s unfortunately too late to save the dead, but there is still time to make sure people don’t become the next victims of the mass shootings that happen every day.

No one is asking for the banning of guns altogether, because I know people still hunt, and it should happen. I know people want to protect their families, because if I had to resort to a weapon to do so I would. But what we are saying is that we need to make sure the wrong people don’t get military grade assault weapons. We need to make sure people who are so mentally disabled they can’t even handle their own money shouldn’t get a weapon. We especially need to make sure people on the terrorist watch list aren’t able to get a weapon. We need to make sure people who are red flags to authorities shouldn’t be able to get a weapon.

Last week an act of domestic terrorism of a higher and larger scale degree than our nation has ever seen occurred. It’s time to defy the lobbyist money and the obstructionists called Congress. It’s time to get our priorities in order and stop complaining about people kneeling for the national anthem. The Constitution says they can, and Title 36 USC § 171 allows them to kneel because US Flag code is a guide and optional. These people kneel because of police brutality and the growing mass shootings because we aren’t doing anything as a nation to try and stop these horrendous acts.

It’s time to pass common sense reforms. And if we aren’t going to pass gun reform, at least we can do are mandate background checks to prevent the worst of human beings getting guns. The gravity of this situation is growing, and the body count is going to grow the longer we wait. Write to Congress; call your representative or senator. Publicly shame the NRA as much as you can, because they are one of the reasons we will never get change in this country. They and their bottom line earn money from us dying with the use of these weapons. We can definitely stop them and their reign on the GOP and Congress. We beat the tobacco industry when it was believed it wasn’t possible, but this is a new battle, and it’s time to be intense and show the hard truth.

If we are truly for freedom and the safeguarding of our nation, we need to do this now, and stop waiting or delaying until the next mass shooting happens. This is one of the many wake up calls congress is choosing to snooze on. It’s time to force them to open their eyes.

BIO: Eddie is a 17 year old activist and volunteer for various campaigns who started off with Bernie 2016 and continued working for Progressive and Berniecrat races.  He now writes for /r/Political_revolution and is a former on air commentator on bernie2016tv.


This week's C.R.A.P. Award Winners: You know the drill--all, email, send post cards/letters and generally bug the hell out of these selfish politicos until they learn to be compassion human beings rather than corporate tools. If you live in their district, please let them know you'll not be voting for them and will work against them if they do run again.

69 Republicans who voted against aid for Puerto Rico, other disaster sites

Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Gary Palmer (AL-06)
French Hill (AR-02)
Paul Gosar (AZ-04)
Andy Biggs (AZ-05)
David Schweikert (AZ-06)
Trent Franks (AZ-08)
Ken Buck (CO-04)
Doug Lamborn (CO-05)

Jody Hice (GA-10)
Barry Loudermilk (GA-11)
Rod Blum (IA-01)
Jackie Walorski (IN-02)
Jim Banks (IN-03)
Todd Rokita (IN-04)
Luke Messer (IN-06)
James Comer (KY-01)
Thomas Massie (KY-04)
Andy Barr (KY-06)
Mike Johnson (LA-04)
Andy Harris (MD-01)
Jack Bergman (MI-01)
Justin Amash (MI-03)
Mike Bishop (MI-08)
Jason Lewis (MN-02)
Tom Emmer (MN-06)
Jason Smith (MO-08)
Trent Kelly (MS-01)
George Holding (NC-02)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Virginia Foxx (NC-05)
Mark Walker (NC-06)
David Rouzer (NC-07)
Richard Hudson (NC-08)
Robert Pittenger (NC-09)
Mark Meadows (NC-11)
Ted Budd (NC-13)
Steve Pearce (NM-02)
Steve Chabot (OH-01)
Brad Wenstrup (OH-02)
Jim Jordan (OH-04)
Bob Gibbs (OH-07)
Warren Davidson (OH-08)
Markwayne Mullin (OK-02)
Scott Perry (PA-04)
Keith Rothfus (PA-12)
Mark Sanford (SC-01)
Jeff Duncan (SC-03)
Ralph Norman (SC-05)
Kristi Noem (SD-AL)
John (Jimmy) Duncan (TN-02)
Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
David Kustoff (TN-08)
Louie Gohmert (TX-01)
John Ratcliffe (TX-04)
Jeb Hensarling (TX-05)
Joe Barton (TX-06)
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
Roger Williams (TX-25)
Chris Stewart (UT-02)
Tom Garrett (VA-05)
Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)
Dave Brat (VA-07)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05)
Sean Duffy (WI-07)
Mike Gallagher (WI-08)
Alex Mooney (WV-02)


From Rain Action Network:

For far too long, banks have operated in the shadows––financing the very industries that are driving climate disaster and violating Indigenous rights. The time has come to finally hold these financial institutions across the world accountable. The fossil fuel divestment movement that struck like wildfire at Standing Rock has now been taken global. Will you join #DivestTheGlobe?

Host a #DivestTheGlobe action in your community!
Indigenous_leadership.jpgLeft to right, Jackie Fielder (Lakota, Mandan, Hidatsa) and Rachel Heaton (Muckleshoot) of Mazaska Talks. Photo credit: Ayse Gursoz
Indigenous leadership is critical to the climate movement. As Jackie Fielder of Mazaska talks says:

“Divestment has been a tactic for a just transition away from fossil fuels for a long time, but the only reason why it’s gained such momentum in the past year is because people put their bodies on the land, right in front of militarized law enforcement. The only reason why we are talking about this a year later is because of Standing Rock and Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous peoples are the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to climate change.”

On October 23rd, ninety-two of the world's largest banks will meet in São Paolo, Brazil to discuss policies on the climate and Indigenous People's rights to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). These banks include financiers like JPMorgan Chase--the #1 Wall Street funder of tar sands, the dirtiest oil on the planet.

Indigenous-led coalition Mazaska Talks is calling on allies everywhere to join in a movement for 3 days of mass global action. Banks need to know that financing climate disaster and the abuse of Indigenous Peoples is not an acceptable business practice.
Actions can look as unique as your community: a protest at a bank branch, a vigil, actions to divest your city from Wall Street banks, a march, rally, and so much more...

RAN and network allies will continue to put pressure on JPMorgan Chase, as we take our #DefundTarSands fight directly to their front doors.

In solidarity,

Tess Geyer Climate and Energy Network Organizer
Tess Geyer, Climate and Energy Organizer
Rainforest Action Network


Just one emergency can ruin your life. 

I’m a single mom. Four years ago, I was putting myself through nursing school, when my six year older daughter came down with a chest infection. The doctor told us she needed nebulizer treatments, but my insurance wouldn’t cover the $400 cost of the equipment. 

I turned to a payday lender to get the money. But between food, rent, and tuition, I couldn’t pay back the loan just two weeks later when it was due. Before long, I was drowning in debt. In the end, I had to drop out of school just one quarter short of receiving my Licensed Practical Nurse degree. I lost my car and we almost lost our apartment. 

Today, I’ve paid over $11,000 on that original $400 loan. I’m still struggling just to get a cell phone because my credit is shot. 
This week, after hundreds of thousands of people like you and me demanded action, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) stepped in to protect borrowers from predatory payday lenders. 

The rules set by the CFPB are an important first step to protecting borrowers from out of control lenders, seeking to exploit families like mine. 

But before the payday rule was even released, the payday predators and their puppets in Congress announced that they’ll try to stop even these common sense protections. They may well use the Congressional Review Act to gut the rule, the same trick Republicans are using to go after arbitration protections and a host of other rules designed to protect everyday people from Wall Street tricks.

Tell Congress: Protect everyday people with common sense protections against predatory lenders, instead of siding with payday lenders and other loan sharks.

Stephany Morales People's Action Grassroots Leader


From Climate Hawks Vote:

Today, the House of Representatives is voting on a $36.5 billion climate-disaster bill in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as well as the Western wildfires. This will be the first Congressional response to the growing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, where over 3 million Americans are without electricity and over one million are without drinking water.

This morning, Trump took to Twitter not to highlight the urgency of helping the millions of survivors of climate disaster across the nation but to attack the people of Puerto Rico and threaten the withdrawal of federal emergency responders.

It is critical that we drive as many calls to Congress right now to demand better for our fellow Americans under attack not just by fossil-fueled disasters but also their own government.

Let your Congressperson know you are paying attention to today’s vote and expect them to do much more in the days and months ahead:

  • The situation in Puerto Rico is dire — millions of American citizens are at risk of starvation and death
  • The total amount of the disaster bill is far too low—the survivors of in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the survivors of the Western wildfires need much more help
  • Instead of increasing Puerto Rico’s debt by $5 billion, Congress should be eliminating all of its debt
  • There must be relentless oversight of the Trump administration’s response to these crises
  • The fossil-fuel industry must be held accountable for its deliberate profit from climate pollution

Here are the details of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017:

  • $13.58 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund, to be shared by all the hurricane survivors (including Texas and Florida) as determined by the Department of Homeland Security
  • $4.9 billion for the FEMA disaster relief fund as a loan to Puerto Rico
  • $150 million loan to Puerto Rico to cover matching funds for FEMA grants
  • $1.27 billion grant to Puerto Rico for disaster nutrition assistance
  • $576.5 million in U.S. Forest Service and Department of Interior grants for wildfire suppression and management
  • $16 billion to cancel National Flood Insurance Program debt

In Texas, survivors are still grappling with exposure to millions of pounds of toxic chemicals spewed into the air and water from flooded oil facilities. The neighborhoods closest to the plants are overwhelmingly low-income people of color.

The official death toll of the California fires has reached 23, with 20,000 evacuees fleeing these fires fueled by decades of greenhouse pollution. Hundreds of people are missing. About 30 percent of the firefighters battling the blazes are prisoners, paid $2 an hour to risk their lives.

The official death toll in Puerto Rico has reached 45, but independent reporting has uncovered hundreds more dead, exposing what can only be described as deliberate undercounting and even cover-up by government officials. Communities desperate for water are drawing from toxic wells in Superfund sites.

The 3.4 million American citizens of Puerto Rico have no vote in Congress. They are working to survive, recover, and rebuild. Today, we can take a minute to be their voice.

Your fellow climate hawk,


Text of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017

Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Billion in Debt — But Not for Puerto Rico, The Intercept

Trump Attacks Puerto Rico, Threatens To Pull Emergency Responders, NBC News

House to vote Thursday on $36.5 billion disaster aid bill, CNN

The official death toll in Puerto Rico is 45, but actual deaths are in the hundreds, Vox

As Puerto Rico Struggles With Lack Of Drinking Water, Residents Turn To Toxic Waste Sites, Essence

30 Percent of California’s Forest Firefighters Are Prisoners, Mother Jones

Failures of floating-roof oil tanks during Harvey raise concerns, Houston Chronicle

From Color of Change:

I just started a petition titled "Don't Forget the U.S. Virgin Islands"

The U.S. Virgin Islands is still a U.S. Territory, therefore it is the responsibility of the U.S. Government to come to their aid in a time of crisis. This is a population of over 100,000 citizens who are primarily Black, and they are just as entitled to the Government assistance and aid afforded to those on the mainland. Race should not be a factor when it comes to taking care of our own. When it comes to the suffering of people of color, this government's response has been woefully inadequate to the point of gross negligence. We cannot allow this to continue indefinitely. Even FEMA's response at this point is almost too little, too late.

Many islands have experienced devastation, but the U.S. Virgin Islands deserve far better than what they are receiving right now. Don't forget the U.S. Virgin Islands, it appears that everyone else has, and that needs to change now.
Join us if you believe the Virgin Islands deserves aid the needed to recover from Hurricane Maria.

Like Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands also sees around 90% of the territory still does not have power and the majority of the population are still without drinkable water. FEMA is only now sending inspection teams to the United States Virgin Islands. It is vital that after emergency aid is already prepared and instantly deployed once the crisis has ended. This did not happen for the Virgin Islands and every day that does not see a concerted effort to send adequate aid leads to Black people suffering.

Will you sign the petition and forward this to make sure your voice is heard? Add your name here.

It is incumbent upon Congress to ensure that the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands receive the aid they need. Victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have been neglected by the current administration and deserves better. Add your name and let your member of Congress know that we all demand that the Virgin Islands receive the same amount of aid that people on the mainland would receive, and aid that is necessary to rebuild a strong and sustainable home.

We will not rest until the U.S. Virgin Islands get the aid that it needs.
Sign the Petition here.
Thank you,
Karen Clemons

Trump and the GOP want to cut trillions from Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security to give tax handouts to billionaires and big business.Trump and his cabinet alone would pay more than $2.4 billion less in taxes.The first part of the GOP plan has already passed the House.And the Senate could vote next week. Tell Congress to stand with working families, not billionaires and big business!


  1. It's too late for 'politics as usual.' Those diehard Republicans and Democrats think they can dance the same tired old steps for eternity, but the rest of the world - the thinking, rational world that has to live day-to-day on a pittance - realizes this has to change. The United States needs a hard dose of Socialism to bring it into the 20th century, let alone the 21st. The MUST be Medicare for all. There MUST be protection for the environment. There MUST be an end to corporate war for profit. We MUST fight to achieve these aims, or the future generations will curse us for leaving them a world turned hellish through greed.

  2. Amen. We've gotta wake all the asleep people up before it's too late. Whatever it takes, they've got to be informed and acknowledge the reality of climate change, runaway health costs, endless wars for profits, etc. We don't have time to play around.


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