This morning my teenage son came into the kitchen fuming. As I was pouring my first cup of coffee he was talking about throwing Molotov cocktails at White Supremacists.

Me: That doesn’t work.

My Son: They are running our people down!! It’s time to fight back!!

Me: It’s natural to feel that way. I think we all feel that way, right now. But it doesn’t work. That’s all I’m saying.

For a while he played with his phone and looked annoyed. I sipped my coffee. Then suddenly my son looked up, righteous anger in his eyes.

My Son: So what works?

Me: The same thing that always works, compassion.

My Son: So just love hatemongers?!! So just hug away the problems?!! Are you serious?!! I thought you loved Bernie Sanders!! Now’s the time for revolution!!

Me: This, as painful as it is, is part of our Revolution. There are very real battles happening in America. People died in this one. We can’t disgrace what they stood for by murdering people, as much as we may want to.

My Son: How does love beat hate? I mean how, actually, using this situation, can you imagine that happening. They will just kill us. They have no souls.

Me: They think the same about us. And if you go throwing Molotov cocktails into their “pride” celebration then they will return home to their communities and some will see them as martyrs. Some as patriots and heroes. And this will make them sympathetic to some. And they will meet in the shadows and whisper to each other about how “it’s illegal to be white in this country.” And they will feel empowered to attack innocent people, because they will be doing exactly what you’re doing. Through your desire to protect the innocent, you are allowing your anger to distort your viewpoint. You keep saying us and them. I used to think this was all just hippie bullshit, but the truth of the matter is that those men are not as different from us as you might think. They are just misguided. They are the victims of Fox News and Breitbart. They believe a lie and that lie makes them afraid. It’s like Yoda in Star Wars, when he says that “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. And hate leads to suffering.” That’s what you’re feeling now. It’s the same thing those guys in Virginia feel, because they believe a lie. That’s not fun to hear, because you are hurting and your ego wants gratification, but if someone uses violence against these people, it will embolden their cause. If you don’t react, it exposes them for exactly what they are. And people who normally don’t even care about politics will wake up and be angry. And we can invite them in and they will become brothers and sisters in our cause.

My Son: Our cause? Back to Bernie Sanders? What does Bernie Sanders have to do with White Supremacists murdering innocent people?

Me: Not Bernie Sanders, but his message. We could just as soon say Martin Luther King or John Lennon or Siddhartha Gautama. But yeah, Bernie has a message and it’s to love one another. And it’s a message of Revolution through peaceful means. And I know that seems weak when all you want to do is load up your gun and go exact revenge, but history has shown us that we win through love and peace. These guys, these dudes holding their stupid Tiki-torches, looking like they just walked off the sex-offender registry website already make themselves look bad to almost everyone who observes them. Many of these guys have little kids and they try to train them to be hateful just like they are. If Daddy comes home with third degree burns because “some libtard threw a Molotov cocktail” at him then those children will be indoctrinated into that thinking. Their Daddy will be a victim, a hero, a patriot. Not reacting is the hardest thing to do in times like these. It is literally the one thing that has furthered our cause throughout history. When you are being attacked you have the right to defend yourself. But long-term change has always come from peaceful protest. It’s Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus. It’s Gandhi refusing to eat. And sometimes it’s dying. It takes a type of courage that these wannabe patriots cannot even comprehend. They act out of fear. We act out of love. That’s how we win.

My Son: Okay, well I’m going over to that Nazi’s house on the next block and I’m going to steal his fucking Nazi flags right off his front porch.

Me: And what will that solve?

My Son: I don’t know.

Me: It will make you feel better for a minute, right? Let’s not talk about all the shit that can go wrong, like you getting shot or arrested or both. Let’s assume you get away with it. What does it accomplish?

My Son: So you think it’s okay that that dude just sits out there with his symbols of hatred?! You think it’s okay that people have to walk by and see that shit?!

Me: I think it’s more than okay. I think it’s necessary and helpful.

My Son: Helpful HOW!!??

Me: Does he look like he’s happy sitting out there? Does he look powerful? Do you think little kids walking down the street see him sitting there with that Nazi flag and want to grow up to be like him?

My Son: No.

Me: He’s a fucking monument dude. He’s a warning to everyone of what will happen to them if they don’t open up their hearts. They will end up old and alone and bitter and watching their world slip away. And the sad thing is that the world isn’t slipping by. It’s getting better. And that man with the Nazi flag is scared and that fear is keeping him from taking part in this beautiful new world we are creating. Besides I like my racists labeled, so I can see them coming.

My Son: I never thought of it like that.

Me: And that symbol of hatred causes little kids to ask their parents what it means and parents can explain to their babies and teach them the importance of love from an early age.

My Son: I didn’t think about that either.

Me: Can I tell you one more reason why we would never steal his flag? Because all it would do would be to prove his point about how evil the world is and make him feel more justified in his hate. You can knock down a building, but they will just build it stronger the next time. You can steal his flag and he’ll go on eBay and buy two. Because, in his mind, he will be fighting the oppressor. The way you eliminate an enemy is by making them your friend.

My Son: Okay, I feel better.

Me: I love your anger. You will need it. Just direct it properly is all. If we go around silencing those we disagree with, then we violate The First Amendment and if The First Amendment goes, the whole thing goes and that document is very wise. It was basically an exact copy of The French Constitution. They saw that it was working there and knew that these principles were universal and would work here. And they do. It’s not pretty, but they end up working out in spite of the inherent foolishness of man.

My Son: Yeah, but the French also had to go and chop off a bunch of heads to get shit done, too.

Me: Yeah, well it may yet come to that. But we’re not there yet. And as long as we have means to exercise peace than we do that. We win this war through peace and love. Civil war isn’t as glamorous as you think it is.

My Son: I know it’s not. You said that you would make the Nazi guy into your friend. How do you do that?

Me: Well, I noticed that in the paper he said that he flies his Nazi flag “because the liberals are trying to take away his First Amendment rights.” And that was literally the only line that the newspaper gave him. An entire article written about the dude and they only quoted him one time. Kind of ironic. I want to give him an opportunity to speak. I’m going to listen to him. And I’m going to film it so others can hear him too. And I’m not going to be mean. And I’m not going to attack him. I’m going to compassionately listen. My goal isn’t to make him look foolish.

My Son: No, he’ll do that all by himself.

Me: I suspect he might. Or maybe while he is talking he might notice some inconsistencies in his thinking. We all tend to do that when we find someone who actually cares enough to listen. But that’s not for me to decide or to attempt to manipulate the situation in that manner. I sincerely want to listen to him and I sincerely want to hear him. And when you do those things, you would be surprised at how small the distances between humans actually are.

My Son: And everybody sees the interview and they see how foolish those antiquated views are.

Me: That’s how we win.

My Son: Yeah. That’s how we win.

berniehamilton
Hello revolutionaries. I just got back from filming interviews with Progressive activists in 24 cities. We have an upcoming show and podcast that will be debuting in September, based around these amazing interviews. We will then go back on the road to collect more (after I finish the My Bernie Journey book). We are in the process of building a Progressive media outlet and it takes ALL of our time and ALL of our money. If you believe in what we are doing please help us get this media out by donating HERE. Even $1 means a lot. We are absolutely dedicated to representing our movement without corporate donors. Thank you in advance for supporting these important projects.

 

 

(Note: Michael E Sparks is currently on the road interviewing Progressives while finishing up a self-published book entitle My Bernie Journey – A Behind the Scenes Look at the 2016 “Democratic” Primary and Beyond. He is also in the pre-production phase of filming a documentary on the subject.)

I am sitting somewhere in the hills of Asheville, North Carolina, having just met MJ Taylor. Even though we had never met before, I feel like I have known this amazing person my entire life.

Perhaps we became friends so quickly because we were able to skip the usual checks that humans subconsciously do upon meeting to insure that the new being before them is actually someone whom is safe and worthy of further exploration. Such scans are unneccessary, for my new friend is an avid Bernie Sanders supporter. And with this one distinction I know that I can rest assured that this is someone who I have many amazing things in common with. For merely by their love of Bernie Sanders, I can conclude that my new friend believes that all human beings are entitled to healthcare when they are sick and compassion at all times. I can safely assume that my new friend believes that it is better to pay extra to educate a child now than to incarcerate that child later. I know that my friend believes that there is hope for this damaged country and fragile world. And I know that my friend is hopeful, full of fight and has no intention of ever giving up.

By making the usual butt-sniffing obsolete, we hit the ground running and it feels like we have been friends for years. It feels like we haven’t seen each other for a while and that we are just catching up. This is a phenomenon I have experienced so often over the past couple of years that I have come to take it completely for granted. Even though I cannot tell you where I am exactly, having relied on GPS to guide me to my latest oasis in between long meditations of seemingly endless highways, I know exactly where I am.

I am home.

I was home two days ago when I pulled into Sam Ronan’s driveway outside Dayton and found that the man who created Our Voice and challenged the establishment to compete for the chair position of the DNC, was also a fellow nerd who shared many of my interests in geek-culture including PC gaming and hand painted Warhammer 40K figurines.

I was home on the streets of Columbus, Ohio where I got to speak with Maria Ferrara about our shared love of virtuoso guitar playing, before she outlined her well-educated views on the steps we need to take to reclaim our country from the corporations that control it. And yet again, I felt at home when Steve Steinmetz shared with me his observations regarding how the United States military commonly violates the very Constitution it is sworn to protect and then at the end of the interview casually mentioned that it happened to be his birthday.

The following morning, in Newark, Ohio, I found home in the words of Jen Kanagy who informed me that Bernie Sanders had inspired her to run for city council, because she recognized this as the best way to serve those in her community. And then again I was at home in the mountains of West Virginia as I listened to Erica Rusmisell tell me how Bernie Sanders had inspired her to overcome her anxiety and set up a support group for people in her community with mood-disorders.

And I was at home when a Facebook message popped up from Mia Irizarry that simply said “Gas money” and when I clicked the link $20 appeared on my debit card (I didn’t even know that was possible!!) and I choked back tears when Jim Cook, a man I’ve never met before, sent me $27 and said “This is to help you on your trip.” Those two messages literally paid for our journey from Ohio to North Carolina.

I have never known such kindness.

Everywhere we go the stories are the same, yet different. There is so much beauty and inspiration in the words and deeds of these heroic people that I find my own desire to make the world a better place refreshed and renewed.

One might ask what I hope to accomplish by driving from town to town and listening to people’s stories. On the surface it is to insure that when I finish my book, My Bernie Journey, that no viewpoints are left unspoken. Also, when I return home, I plan to practice some basic film-editing techniques on the footage that I have and I’ll make a couple of short films in preparation to make a full-length documentary later in the year.

But the deeper reasons I decided to pursue this project are gradually revealing themselves to me. I know that our movement suffered a terrible setback around this time last year and I have been watching some aspects of it push against the seams that were holding it together. The powers that be, in their subtle and pervasive ways, have been successful in getting us to take our eyes off the prize. The sideshow of our current “representation” in Washington produces enough tabloid garbage on a daily basis to provide a convenient distraction for disgruntled activists, while the corporate media bombards us with news that isn’t news in an attempt to convince us that what we experienced just a year ago was merely an anomaly and that we have no real power.

All they do is lie.

Back in Indiana, my heart raged against the dissolution of a movement that we put our literal blood, sweat and tears into, while my body sat still, feeling helpless, not knowing what to do next. So we decided to go speak with the people, not knowing what would be revealed in the process.

And we were scared.

We were scared of not having enough money to make the trip. We were scared of being stranded on the road. We were scared of people who were not sympathetic to our political ideology. And most of all we were scared to speak with people who are quite honestly heroes to us.

We were overwhelmed with fear.

Carrie and I took turns leaning on each other, reminding the other that there was something out there, something greater than what we could envision and telling each other that we need only to take the first step and things would fall in line.

And they have.

I do not know all that we will find on this journey, but I know that there is a brilliant and amazing story here. Upon returning home I will finish my book and listen carefully as to know what the next step is. Goals are in concrete. Plans are in sand. But I have a script. And it’s really good. I also have some crude drawings that I will have animated to fit into at least one documentary that begins at Occupy Wall Street and continues on into the current day Progressive movement. I believe that this is possibly the path that this will take, but every documentary film-maker I have had the pleasure of speaking with tells me that the story will write itself as long as you listen and pursue the journey.

So I’m out here.

Listening to the voice of The People.

You all have such beautiful voices.

tat4
My name is Michael E Sparks. If you believe that my work is important, I ask that you donate to help fund it. You donations go towards gas, food, lodging and equipment to film, edit and promote our cause. These projects are entirely funded by what little money Carrie and I can scrape together so your donations literally make this work possible. Thank you in advance for your incredible kindness. You can click HERE to donate.

I know of no other response but abject horror to describe my feelings towards the chants of “USA!! USA!!” emitting from The Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this past week. My thoughts panned to Hitler youth rallies as I watched young white males chanting with something considerably more dangerous than simple anger in their pubescent crackling voices.

The Scouts were moved to spontaneous incantation by a racist white billionaire saying that he was going to crush the black man’s legacy. The billionaire had a better way of doing things. Even though, by most accounts, he had no plan at all or a plan that was much worse, this was of no consequence. The black man’s legacy had to be erased and the emperor’s complete lack of clothing was of no consequence.

There were many layers in that impassioned mantra of “USA!! USA!!” There was something greater than anger in the voices of the young men as they chanted the indoctrination. There was something in those young men’s voices long forgotten by most of us. There was patriotism, loyalty and pride. And it chilled me to my bones.

Implicit in this impromptu chant is Manifest Destiny. Hidden beneath the smiles of future lawyers, Senators and CEOs, covered in shiny merit badges, proving that they are prepared for the fight ahead, there is a doctrine of white nationalism that is as old as the country itself, but has been growing in strength and numbers radically since the dawn of the Internet. Not your grandfather’s KKK, the doctrine of white supremacy is all polished up and ready for public consumption. The idea that America is somehow destined to be a white Christian nation is very much alive and well. When the billionaire white man stands up in front of a group of 12-16 year old young men in uniforms and says that he is going to stop the black man’s healthcare bill and by extension punish our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, and those same young men raise their fists, without prompting and begin proudly chanting the name of their country, then you have more than a rally, you have a movement and in this particular case, a very dangerous one.

life

We have seen this movie before.

There is a white nationalist movement in every backyard in America. It’s in your neighborhood. It’s in your police force. It’s in your White House. It may even be in your home. It’s organized, heavily armed and ready to fight and die for it’s country. The most daunting aspect of this movement is that it’s members see themselves as patriots. They believe that they are defending the doctrines of our country’s founding fathers. While the rest of us are running around, working our asses off to build a world of science, technology and equality, there’s a growing contingency of Americans who believe that we should be focused on God, guns and government.

We cannot pretend this rift does not exist. There is a fundamental difference in values at work here. While we are all in agreement on fundamental truths that all Americans are entitled the basic freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we all know that these freedoms cease once they begin stepping on the freedoms of others. Therein lies the problem. Decades of irresponsible rhetoric spewed forth by politicians and their cohorts in the corporate media have resulted in millions of Americans actually believing the lie that their poverty and struggle is the result of the brown man. A friend of mine recently said “Michael, when you are used to privilege, equality seems like oppression.” And this is exactly what is going on. Add in the fact that the wealth siphoning to the 1% is destroying the middle-class, while automation combined with sending American jobs overseas has made it incredibly difficult for hard working Americans to make ends meet. And when people are poor, desperate and angry, they look for someone to blame. So when the billionaire, “self made”, American dream in a suit stands up and says that he’s going to kill the black man’s health bill and the young white men start chanting “USA!! USA!!”, well, we just might have a problem.

And the problem compounds upon itself, because there IS a fundamental value difference. We want to push things forward and they want things to be the way they used to be. We want Star Trek and they want Leave it to Fucking Beaver. We want equality for all and they want a world where the white man is special. The left knows that they are right and they don’t have time to bother with explaining the real truth as to why our country is falling apart at the seams. The left’s superior ideology causes them to look down their noses and become exasperated with anyone who sees things differently. Hardworking Conservatives have grown tired of being treated

The left may have the moral high-ground, but the right has all the guns. If those on the left are planning to continue in their roles as judge and jury to the lesser enlightened, then perhaps they should begin making frequent trips to the shooting range, because the they are exacerbating a very dangerous rift with a growing portion of our society.  There is a not-so-civil war of ideologies happening in America right now. And as always, where blood is boiling, there are those who seek to profit off the strife caused by such misunderstanding.

The solution, is as it always is, compassion and communication. For the smug liberal this means putting away our sense of superiority to realize that those who seek comfort in old ways are not our enemies, but in fact want the same basic freedoms that you and I desire. In the common ground between us is the once-fertile soil of a now fledgling nation where we all want to plant seeds so that our children will be able to thrive in a new world that is scary to all of us. The antiquated notions that gender, skin-tone and sexual preference somehow make one greater or lesser is fueled by the corporate fear machine that seeks only to keep us divided so they can profit from our strife.

If our ideas are based in truth, if indeed it is better to move forward into a world where science reigns over superstition and equality wins out over division and hatred, then we must stop looking at those whom believe differently as mere obstacles to progress and start actively engaging these people in compassionate communication. We must come down from our ivory towers and become curious as to why those young men at the Boy Scout Jamboree felt moved to horrifying patriotism by the rich white man promising to destroy the black man’s legacy. Because pushing this mentality into the corner, shaming it and hoping that it goes away has proven to be a completely ineffective strategy.

We’ve seen this movie before.

The ending sucks.

And the middle’s even worse.

berniehamilton
Michael E Sparks is an Independent writer. His writing is free for anyone who wants it. If his words add value to your life you can donate to him HERE. Your contributions allow him to continue writing and pursue Progressive projects which he believes make the world a better place.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book,

My Bernie Journey – A Behind the Scenes Look at the 2016 “Democratic” Primary

The book will be released on August 28.

I have been working on it for over a year and I really believe that it is an accurate portrayal of the disenfranchisement that Sanders and his supporters faced at the hands of the Democratic Party.

It’s a good read, full of the anger, sadness and euphoria that we all experienced as part of Sanders’ historic campaign.

This chapter was a lot of fun to write and I feel strongly that I must use my ability with language to not just deliver the facts, but also to paint elaborate pictures that inspire my readers to continue to take action.

I sincerely hope you find something that you can relate to in my ramblings.

After you finish reading the chapter, scroll down and there will be instructions on how you can obtain a copy of the book at no charge.

There is also an opportunity to be part of the team that gets the book to press.

Lastly, we are about to embark on a 22 city tour, where we will be meeting with amazing revolutionaries whose lives have been forever changed by this movement.

While we are on the road we will be shooting footage that we will be using in a companion documentary.

We feel strongly that these stories must be told so that we can continue our Progressive movement and be all the wiser as we go forward.

You can be part of this road-trip by clicking HERE and then clicking the follow button.

I sincerely promise to do everything in my power to promote this book to anyone and everyone who may help further the truth about the travesty that occurred against our movement during the 2016 “Democratic” Primary as well as to help inspire our path forward.

Please feel free to share this post with anyone whom you think may be interested in this project.

Without further ado, here’s the chapter.

Thank you for taking the time to read and participate.

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Chapter 11 – District 5

Our hero and his merry band of misfits go deep into rural Indiana to practice the psychology of paradigm shifting on unsuspecting red-staters who really “love the Second Amendment”

The Bernie Sanders volunteer group I joined in Indiana was small but active. Our number one goal was just to get Bernie’s name out there and to familiarize people with his policies. We’d meet up for planning about every two weeks. It sounds crazy, but a lot of what we would do is just make up signs, put on colorful clothing and go to a busy intersection and smile and wave at people.

These tactics actually worked. People had no idea who Bernie Sanders was and seeing a bunch of people smiling and waving got people to stop and ask. Sanders’ policy position were far superior than any other candidate and his volunteers were incredibly enthused about his candidacy, so once people stopped to talk with us, they were sold on voting for him. I often forget that the average American doesn’t even know what a primary is and they certainly don’t know that they have to vote twice in a Presidential election. Most people don’t even start paying attention until a few weeks before the general election so getting people to show up and vote in a primary that was still six months away was kind of daunting, but we must have done a good job, because Bernie won Indiana, despite the Democratic establishment here pretending like we didn’t even exist.

We were rogue agents, operating in coffee houses, planning strategies to take the state from Hillary Clinton. We knew we had our work cut out for us, so we started working months in advance of our primary. Our team was small, but mighty. The people I worked with on the Indiana campaign are some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. I am still friends with many of them as I write this. Aaron, Greg, Julie and Phil always wore huge smiles and did amazing work organizing our group. None of them ever sought personal credit. They were completely selfless and inspiring. I never quite knew what I would be doing from one moment to the next, but I trusted them to always give me a job that used my abilities. We hosted phone-banking sessions and debate parties. We opened our home for Sanders’ volunteers from all over the state to come celebrate and learn new campaigning techniques. Soon I was teaching impromptu canvassing classes in our living room. I would tell people techniques that I had picked up at canvassing centers around the country (we didn’t have a campaign office in Indiana yet) and they would use these techniques to talk with friends and neighbors.

Pitching a Democratic Socialist in Indiana was not for the feint of heart. This is a state where Donald Trump received three times as many votes as did Bernie and Hillary during the primaries. But by far the greatest challenge we faced was simply getting Bernie Sanders name on the ballot so people could actually vote for him.

One Wednesday I received a text from my friend, Philip Sanders, telling me that there was a meeting that evening. I had a mountain of Bernie work on my desk (I had become a Bernie Sanders blogger and social media promoter in my off hours and this gradually began to eat away most of my time) and the last thing I wanted to do was stop my Bernie-work to go to ANOTHER Bernie meeting, but Philip informed me that someone from the national campaign would be there and that they needed all hands on deck.

At first I thought that our Indy4Bernie group had grown tremendously, but soon came to realize that I was sitting in a room will all of the Bernie groups from the entire state. The national guy began to speak and I kept dozing off. It was completely involuntary. I just could not keep my eyes open. The subject of the meeting was to alert us that there was a major problem with one of the districts that we had to collect signatures in. Apparently in order for Bernie to even appear on the primary ballot and be eligible for voting we had to collect 500 registered voter signatures per district. I had never worked on a Presidential campaign before so this was all new to me.

The reason why there were so many people at our meeting was because the signature collectors from all over the state had come to turn in their signatures. But there was a major problem. District 5 didn’t have their signatures and the deadline for turning them in was fast approaching. Not only did they not have the signatures, but the people who were in charge of collecting them had quit in exasperation, saying that they had been harassed and threatened. They had collected less than 10 signatures.

I snapped from my sleep and raised my hand. “So if we don’t get these 500 signatures in the next few weeks, Bernie’s name won’t even be on the Indiana ballot?” I asked.

“That’s correct.” the national guy informed me.

A man in a suit stood up and said “This district is particularly problematic. It’s a wealthy, all rural Republican area. There is lots of space between the houses and they don’t take kindly to Democrats and they like Socialists even less. Unfortunately they have been informed of our presence and have made a concerted effort to keep us out. We are not allowed on any business properties. In fact some of the local police have threatened to arrest us if we trespass on business property and many of the houses have put up No Trespassing signs. This area is extremely difficult and no one wants to be harassed. Everyone we have put on it has quit.”

“Does Hillary have her signatures from District 5?” I asked.

“Hillary has hundreds of paid workers. Plus she also has the help of the local Democratic Party. So, yes. She is already on the ballot.”

“Oh and there’s something else you should probably know.” the man in the suit said “The county clerk there doesn’t want a Democratic Socialist on the ballot so they will disqualify any signature that isn’t legible and they will disqualify anyone who has moved their residence in the last year and they will look for reasons to disqualify Bernie’s name, so our solution to this is to get three signatures for every one we need, so we need 1500 signatures, so who wants to be in charge of District 5?”

With this he held the clipboard high above his head.

The room went still. As I sat there, hoping, waiting for someone to take charge, I looked at District 5 on the map. It was far away from my home and I had been through there before and on several occasions had been harassed by the police there. The Hamilton County police are legendary in Indiana. They will pretty much harass you just for being from out of town. I could tell you stories about my experiences with them that I probably wouldn’t believe myself if I hadn’t been through them. There was no part of me that wanted to go to District 5 and be harassed and more than likely arrested.

No one raised their hand.

The national guy said “Look, if we don’t get these signatures then Bernie doesn’t win Indiana and it will be really difficult to compete against Clinton if we concede a state before the primaries even begin.”

I raised my hand.

Oh my god!! What had I done?!

I felt sick to my stomach as they explained to me what I would be doing. Honestly this whole campaign was stretching me way past my comfort zone. I was already inundated with so much volunteer work that my business had taken a back seat and I was having a hard time paying my bills. Now I was going back to a place where police had harassed me on multiple occasions. I was absolutely horrified. This would become the central theme in my life over the next year thanks to Bernie Sanders and his amazing campaign.

My fear was quickly cut in half when Cherish Foreman-Davis approached me. We had never met, but she informed me that she lived in that district and would love to help with signature collection. She told me that there was an election coming up that Tuesday in district 5 and that it would be illegal to kick us off the property as it was state owned. The only rule that they could enforce is that we had to stay 50 feet from the entrance.

We put out a call on social media in hopes of finding others to help us with this urgent and pressing matter. One lady, Holly Davis, agreed to meet with us and I also brought my daughter, Chloe, along to help.

We started in, smiling and asking for signatures, but we were met with avoidance and hostility.

“I vote Republican.” a man said to Chloe.

“I don’t vote for communists.” a lady told me.

Several people told us that we shouldn’t be there and that we were violating people’s rights by harassing them when they were trying to vote.

One man who held a high public office came up to me with a group of men and introduced himself directly to me, ignoring the female volunteers. He said

“I love The Constitution and my FAVORITE part of The Constitution is the Second Amendment. Do you get my drift?”

I am pretty sure that he was threatening me, but I simply replied

“I love The Constitution as well and The Constitution says that ALL people have the right to participate in Democracy, so I’m sure you want to sign our ballot initiative.”

He replied “Hell no, I’m not signing that and no one else is going to either. I’ll make sure of that.” and then he and his entourage started greeting voters and pointing at us. People just stormed by us and as we started to speak they would either ignore us completely or say something hateful and continue walking. One man started screaming at us and then one of the “Second Amendment lovers” said that he was going to call the police because we were causing a disturbance.

This was not working out. It was easy to see why the other District 5 volunteers had quit. This was more than frustrating. This was bordering on dangerous.

I wanted the men to believe that we were giving up so I huddled our group off to the side and waited for the men to leave. I told our group that we needed to change up our plan.

“I think I know something that these people hate more than Socialism.” I said “Here’s our new line. ‘Hi! Do you have 30 seconds to help keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House?’”

This changed everything!!

“Hi!! Do you have 30 seconds to help keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House?” was met almost every time with a hardy laugh and the reply “Well I’ve got all day for that.”

I taught the group that the follow up line was “I know we might differ on some issues, but one of the things I respect most about Republicans is that they believe in Democracy. By signing here you guarantee that Hillary has competition and doesn’t just have the White House handed to her. Let’s work together to make Hillary’s life as difficult as possible.”

Most people would say “I don’t like Socialism, but I agree with you that everyone deserves a chance to run for office and anything that hurts Hillary Clinton is okay by me.”

And they signed…

And they signed..

And they signed.

One thing that really helped us was when the county chair, a young Republican girl, came up to me and said “I don’t agree with your politics, but I admire you for standing out here. I can’t imagine that people have been very welcoming.”

I liked talking with her. We came at everything from opposite viewpoints, which usually makes for interesting conversation, but I also had an ulterior motive. I knew that as long as she was speaking with me, voters would see this and this would give us more credibility. She really liked me as well and kept introducing me to voters as her “Bernie friend”. People looked at her like she should blink twice if she was being held hostage, but they signed, simply because she endorsed us.

Hundreds of people signed!!

Our team stood out there all day and we gathered signatures, but Cherish did not stop there. She continued to push day after day to get the 1500 signatures required. I helped, but Cherish was the real powerhouse. One day I was going from business to business and each time I would go in the shop owner would say “We already kicked the one girl out of here and told her we would call the police if she came back.” Cherish had already been kicked out of every business in District 5. This was inspiring. This was revolutionary. We were not simply signature collectors. We were insurgents, behind enemy lines, facing arrest and bodily harm. The more they resisted the more we persisted.

I remember one signature very clearly. I had been standing out on the street, during an intense snowstorm holding a sign that said

“IF YOU CARE ABOUT DEMOCRACY PLEASE SIGN!!”

No one was stopping their cars. I was cold and feeling ridiculous. Honestly I began to doubt that we were ever going to get the signatures. It felt like the whole town was against us (because in fact they WERE against us). As I lost feeling in my hands, I went inside one of the businesses to order coffee. I sat there drinking coffee with my sign and my clipboard on the table.

A police officer walked up to me.

“What are you wanting me to sign?”

I saw his badge clipped to his belt and replied

“Believe me, you don’t want to sign this. It’s a petition to allow Bernie Sanders to be on the ballot against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primaries.”

At this point a teenage boy came around the corner and said

“Bernie Sanders is awesome, Dad! You should sign it!”

I said nothing. The man and his son sat down at the table with me and ate their food and talked about Socialism. The kid kept saying “But that’s not what Bernie stands for…” and then would go on to straighten his father out on Bernie’s platform. To Dad’s credit, he listened and then he said to me

“Is it okay if I sign it?”

I only got one signature that day, but I needed it so badly. It inspired me to continue to work and it reminded me that you can’t prejudge people. And thanks to the work of Cherish and Holly, we got the signatures required to get Bernie on the ballot here in Indiana.

The county clerk begrudgingly signed off on the signatures and Bernie went on to win Indiana along with 21 other states. Being part of that was one of the greatest accomplishments of my entire life.

I will forever be grateful that I got to be part of such a determined team. The entire town tried to stop us, but in the end our commitment to Bernie was stronger than their will to stop us.

Bernie Sanders made it onto the ballot.

And Bernie Sanders won Indiana.

THAT’S THE CHAPTER – I REALLY HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT!! THERE ARE MANY MORE EXCITING CHAPTERS IN THE FULL VERSION OF THE BOOK. 

berniebook

HERE ARE ALL THE DETAILS YOU NEED IN ONE EASY TO UNDERSTAND VIDEO (<—-CLICK HERE)

The video is kind of long.

 There was a lot I wanted to fit in.

Here are the bullet points.

If you want an electronic copy of the book, I’ll send you one out absolutely free

Just send an email to

 GoBernieGoBernieGo@gmail.com

 And I’ll get an electronic copy sent out to you as soon as it goes to press on August 28.

 If anyone wants to contribute to the publishing costs, they can do so by clicking the link below.

 DONATIONS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO RECEIVE THE BOOK!!

 There is also an exciting bonus program for founding members.

 Anyone who donates $27 or more will be part of The 27 Buck Club.

 Those people receive a physical copy of the book, shipped to their home, along with a second book, The Independent Thinker Chronicles.

 The Independent Thinker Chronicles is a compilation of articles I wrote while on the road with the campaign.

 In addition, anyone in The 27 Buck Club gets their name credited inside the book for being an integral part of getting the book to press.

 If joining The 27 Buck Club, please be sure to include the address of where your books are to be shipped.

 If no one donates I’ll foot the entire bill for the publishing and I’LL STILL SEND OUT THE FREE COPIES!!

If the crowdfunding is successful and there is any money left over after paying the publishing costs, these proceeds go to pay Ari’s schooling (see video for details).

 I wanted to structure this where everyone could get the book without paying for it.

But I also wanted to structure it where there was freedom to participate for those who wanted to and I wanted to reward those people with something exciting.

 This is my first time doing crowdfunding and also my first time self-publishing so I hope I did a good job with the structure.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this chapter and I really look forward to getting the book to you.

I’ve spent so much time trying to make it amazing.

I sincerely believe that it is a book that needed to be written and I’m honored to be able to be part of such an incredible movement.

Your friend in Revolution,

Michael E Sparks

minibernie

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book,

My Bernie Journey – A Behind the Scenes Look at the 2016 Democratic Primary

The book will be released on August 28.

I have been working on it for over a year and I really believe that it is an accurate portrayal of the disenfranchisement that Sanders and his supporters faced at the hands of the Democratic Party.

It’s a good read, full of the anger, sadness and euphoria that we all experienced as part of Sanders’ historic campaign.

This particular chapter is less fact-based than some of the other chapters and is more about the emotions that fueled the campaign and why the movement has continued on at a grassroots level, despite the chicanery that undemocratically halted Sanders’ presidential run.

This chapter was a lot of fun to write and I feel strongly that I must use my ability with language to not just deliver the facts, but also to paint elaborate pictures that inspire my readers to continue to take action.

I sincerely hope you find something that you can relate to in my ramblings.

After you finish reading the chapter, scroll down and there will be instructions on how you can obtain a copy of the book at no charge.

There is also an opportunity to be part of the team that gets the book to press.

Lastly, we are about to embark on a 22 city tour, where we will be meeting with amazing revolutionaries whose lives have been forever changed by this movement.

While we are on the road we will be shooting footage that we will be using in a companion documentary.

We feel strongly that these stories must be told so that we can continue our Progressive movement and be all the wiser as we go forward.

You can be part of this road-trip by clicking HERE and then clicking the follow button.

I sincerely promise to do everything in my power to promote this book to anyone and everyone who may help further the truth about the travesty that occurred against our movement during the 2016 “Democratic” Primary as well as to help inspire our path forward.

Please feel free to share this post with anyone whom you think may be interested in this project.

Without further ado, here’s the chapter.

Thank you for taking the time to read and participate.

berniegirl

Chapter 17 – You Bernie People Are Being Ridiculous

Because of my love for Bernie Sanders and the movement he stands for, I lost a lot of friends.

I could see what my friends were seeing. I totally got it. Michael, their friend who was always kind of right there on the verge of insanity, had finally slipped over the edge. They always thought it would be drugs or alcohol that would finally drag me out past the frayed ends of madness and dump me into the great abyss, where my heroes all hung their hats. Instead it ended up being Bernie Freaking Sanders that had pushed their compadre past the brink.

I know my friends resented Bernie. They resented him for stealing away my time and energy. They resented him for being the only thing I ever talked about. In short, they resented him for stealing their friend.

My friends talked with one another. Interventions were planned, but ultimately quashed due to the fact that no one thought it would do any good whatsoever.

Michael had lost his mind and there was nothing they could do about it.

Truthfully, I had never been sane, not by their definition anyway. I had always been hanging around in the shadows, trying to figure out how to throw a wrench into the machine.

When I was 11, I used my Commodore 64 to hack into my school computer, just so I could change my grades, even though I knew I already had straight A’s. When I was 15 I formed a punk band with plans to inform the world that the system was broken and that anarchy was the only solution. Before Sanders, I had been reduced to finding legal ways to rip off corporations in order to feel like I was doing something to stem the tide of corporate injustice. I was small-time, but my sedition kept me sane.

I was Tyler Durden selling cellulite back to suburban women in the form of boutique soap. I was a dejected rebel, a down and out subversive, a wannabe revolutionary. Had Sanders not come along, I would have probably fallen into extreme couponing in my desperate attempt to bring corporations to their knees. I was a flea on a flea on a flea on the back of global commerce.

Some live off scraps. I lived off the scraps that fell from scraps.

As far as my government and the corporations that own it were concerned, I was a nobody.

The crown jewel in my anti-authoritarianism, I found a flaw in Blockbuster’s video game trade in policy and exploited it so severely that I was banned from their stores. I did nothing wrong. They did their math incorrectly. I made $8500 in three weeks and when they banned me, I wrote a blog explaining to tens of thousands of others how to exploit their system. When I saw their stores going out of business, I smiled, thinking that I had been a microscopic part of this event.

Damn the man.

Fuck the police.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

I’ve always loathed this wicked machine. I was always crazy. I just needed a vehicle for my mayhem.

Some dude from Vermont wants to destroy the system and rebuild it in his image?

Sign me up!

Let’s break shit!

Crazy isn’t really the problem. Crazy is the solution. When born into a country where one’s value is measured by the amount of capital that one can create for themselves by coming up with ways to take assets from the vulnerable, then the only sane path is to be crazy.

So when people tell me that Bernie Sanders supporters are crazy, I know they are just buying into the corporate media narrative designed to discredit our incredibly powerful movement. I am encouraged by this insult, for it would not be necessary to create such lies if we weren’t a threat to the establishment.

And to be fair, Sanders supporters are crazy.

We are crazy enough to believe that compassion is more important than Capitalism. We are crazy enough to believe that people are more important than profits. And we are crazy enough to believe that “when millions of people stand together” they can take control of their government from greedy billionaires who literally seek to enslave humanity.

Bernie Sanders was speaking my language. When Bernie stood up and said “We need a political revolution in this country.” I was like “Dude, you had me at ‘we’.”

My friends thought I was crazy and I thought they were asleep. These friendships were destined to end. I simply do not have time to wake people up when they are willfully participating in their own slumber. Why waste the time when there are others who want to be awakened and will wake up swinging? Me and my new friends were ringing our bells from town to town. We were waking people up. We were finding all the crazy people. We were building an army.

So when you make comments about how crazy Bernie Sanders people are, what you are really doing is revealing something about yourself. What you are really saying is that things are “just fine” and I’m sorry, my dear friend, but things are not “just fine” and they haven’t been, well, ever really.

Me and my crazy friends want to make sure that every single person on this planet has food, shelter and medicine. Me and my crazy friends believe that we can use technology in ways that can bring about a genuine world peace. Me and my crazy friends look at the evil in the world, push through our sadness and anger and reload our ambition to fight for things both great and small. We take in the abandoned and destitute. We hang rainbow flags in our windows to let the lost know that they will be safe with us. We make sack lunches and take them to those who seek shelter in bridges, benches and alleys. We keep trying when every single person around us has given up.

Indeed, we are crazy.

And there are MILLIONS OF US!!

And we are just crazy enough to believe that we can change the world.

THAT’S THE CHAPTER – I REALLY HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT!! THERE ARE MANY MORE EXCITING CHAPTERS IN THE FULL VERSION OF THE BOOK. 

berniebook

HERE ARE ALL THE DETAILS YOU NEED IN ONE EASY TO UNDERSTAND VIDEO (<—-CLICK HERE)

The video is kind of long.

 There was a lot I wanted to fit in.

Here are the bullet points.

If you want an electronic copy of the book, I’ll send you one out absolutely free

Just send an email to

 GoBernieGoBernieGo@gmail.com

 And I’ll get an electronic copy sent out to you as soon as it goes to press on August 28.

 If anyone wants to contribute to the publishing costs, they can do so by clicking the link below.

 DONATIONS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO RECEIVE THE BOOK!!

 There is also an exciting bonus program for founding members.

 Anyone who donates $27 or more will be part of The 27 Buck Club.

 Those people receive a physical copy of the book, shipped to their home, along with a second book, The Independent Thinker Chronicles.

 The Independent Thinker Chronicles is a compilation of articles I wrote while on the road with the campaign.

 In addition, anyone in The 27 Buck Club gets their name credited inside the book for being an integral part of getting the book to press.

 If joining The 27 Buck Club, please be sure to include the address of where your books are to be shipped.

 If no one donates I’ll foot the entire bill for the publishing and I’LL STILL SEND OUT THE FREE COPIES!!

If the crowdfunding is successful and there is any money left over after paying the publishing costs, these proceeds go to pay Ari’s schooling (see video for details).

 I wanted to structure this where everyone could get the book without paying for it.

But I also wanted to structure it where there was freedom to participate for those who wanted to and I wanted to reward those people with something exciting.

 This is my first time doing crowdfunding and also my first time self-publishing so I hope I did a good job with the structure.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this chapter and I really look forward to getting the book to you.

I’ve spent so much time trying to make it amazing.

I sincerely believe that it is a book that needed to be written and I’m honored to be able to be part of such an incredible movement.

Your friend in Revolution,

Michael E Sparks

chloebrokenarmlaugh

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book,

My Bernie Journey – A Behind the Scenes Look at the 2016 Democratic Primary

The book will be released on August 28.

I have been working on it for over a year and I really believe that it is an accurate portrayal of the disenfranchisement that Sanders and his supporters faced at the hands of the Democratic Party.

It’s a good read, full of the anger, sadness and euphoria that we all experienced as part of Sanders’ historic campaign.

This particular chapter explains the reasons why the Bernie Sanders movement was such a personal revolution for me. It’s intensely personal and I share aspects of myself that not even those closest to me are aware of.

I sincerely hope you find something that you can relate to in my ramblings.

After you finish reading the chapter, scroll down and there will be instructions on how you can obtain a copy of the book at no charge.

There is also an opportunity to be part of the team that gets the book to press.

I sincerely promise to do everything in my power to promote this book to anyone and everyone who may help further the truth about the travesty that occurred against our movement during the 2016 “Democratic” Primary.

Please feel free to share this post with anyone whom you think may be interested in this project.

Without further adieu, here’s the chapter.

rage

Chapter 16 – Raging Against the Machine (Kuh-wit It Now!!!)

I was off and running again.

Damn I was fast!

The fact that I’m alive now is a testament to how fast I was then.

John Southwood’s goons gave chase and I kicked as hard as my ten year old legs could kick. And hell yeah they could kick. As I turned the corner I used my peripheral vision to see that the entire gang had given up chasing me, except for Kyle. Peripheral vision was important. There was always somebody coming after me back then and I needed to be able to see what was coming. And in this case the ability to see without turning my head may have shaved a half second off my sprint and that half second could have been the difference between making it home to relative safety or getting my face bashed in by Kyle Vandebrock.

Kyle was 15 and two feet taller than me. For everyone of Kyle’s strides, I had to take two. I was three blocks from my house. My brain started trying to do math to figure the odds, but I told it to shut up. Doing math could only slow me down. Kyle was closing fast, but not fast enough.

I made it to my front yard.

There’s some sort of kid rule that says that if you make it to your own yard then you are safe and bullies can no longer bother you. So I slowed up and began to walk leisurely towards my front door. If I came in running my mom or her boyfriend would have noticed me. It was never a good idea to be noticed in my house.

Kyle stopped at the edge of the yard and said between gasps

“Why are you running? I just wanted to talk to you?”

His tone was completely disarming. I remember thinking that he looked like a really nice guy standing there and for a moment I wondered why I had been running from him.

I walked to the edge of the yard and said

“What do you want to talk about?”

Kyle swung his lanky right arm towards me. I remember it seemed like it took forever to arrive. Perhaps I have added this part to the memory, but I recall seeing Kyle’s fist eclipsing the sun as it majestically hovered over the treeline behind him. The adult-me wants to tell Kyle to keep his punches compact and to remember to always keep his guard up. A huge sweeping roundhouse punch like this, in a street-fight, will get you punched directly in the face with a jab, followed by a right-cross. Kyle was leading with a hay-maker that traveled through several time zones to reach its destination.

“Now boarding Kyle’s fist to Michael’s stomach! Please present your tickets! All aboard the pain express! Next stop Extreme Abdominal Pain!”

Kyle’s fist landed squarely on my malnourished frame and took the wind completely out of me. As I fell to the ground, Kyle hovered above, blocking out the sun. I remember he looked reluctant, almost compassionate, like a man just doing his job, going through the motions, taking no joy in his role as Southwood’s henchman.

While I lay there writhing in pain, Kyle said

“And this is for making me chase you.” and then he brought his size 13 Converse All-Star crashing down on my ribs.

As Kyle walked away, I saw him meet up with Southwood and his gang. I saw him gesture to them that the job had been completed. High-fives were exchanged and cigarettes lit. Another hard day at the factory. Soon the sun would set, we’d all sleep and then we’d have to report to work again. Me with my job as whipping boy, they as the neighborhood bullies. My bruised ribs would buy me no sanctuary tomorrow. A new school-day meant we all hit the reset button.

You might be wondering what the impetus behind these daily beatings was. I can answer it simply by saying that my family was poor. Looking back, I realized that John Southwood and his gang were also poor. But they weren’t poor like we were poor. They could afford luxuries like cigarettes and beer. And their clothes seemed to fit okay, whereas mine were hand-me-downs from my cousins, who were younger than me.

Once a year my Aunt would drop off several trash bags full of clothes that her kids had outgrown and that would be my wardrobe for the next year.

My mother got angry at me for growing.

I would try to force myself into the trash-bag clothes, which were several sizes too small and my mother would see me and say something like

“If you didn’t grow so goddamned fast then your clothes would fit!!”

To my mother’s credit, she did everything she could to keep me from growing. We rarely had food in the house and when we did, eating it would usually lead to some sort of major screaming match, which more often than not lead to me getting knocked across the room.

I arrived early to school each morning to get the bowl of free corn-flakes that the school gave out to kids on the free lunch program. I didn’t realize at the time that showing up an hour before the first bell was a way to let every kid in the school know that I received free lunch. I didn’t even know what was going on. I just knew that we were poor and that the other kids hated me for that.

At lunch time there were two lines. Kids with money would go through a line where they could point to different foods they wanted. Those foods always looked so much better than the slop they would throw on our trays, which I would later learn was the exact same crap they were feeding the prisoners a few miles down the road.

There was a popular commercial at the time, for Life cereal, in which a small boy named Mikey was presented with a bowl of cereal. One of the kids would say “Mikey won’t eat it. He hates everything!” then Mikey would eat the Life cereal and the kids would scream out “He likes it!!” This somehow resulted in kids coming by and dumping their leftover food on my tray and saying

“Mikey will eat it! He eats everything!”

And everyone would laugh.

And I would eat it too, as long as it looked like they hadn’t put any trash in it. We never had dinner at our house and it was a long time between lunch and the free cereal the next morning, so I would eat as much as I could at lunch each day. The kids all got a huge kick out of watching the scrawny little poor kid eat the food they were going to throw in the trash. I guess there was something about that joke that I didn’t really understand. I never really got the punch-line on that one.

As you might expect, as an adult I developed a pretty strange eating disorder that really just amounted to me always finishing every last scrap that was on my plate, even when I was stuffed, as well as any leftover scraps on my children’s plates. I just couldn’t bear the thought of throwing food in the trash, after not having it for all those years. As you might also expect, this behavior lead me to gain a lot of weight.

But as an adult, I had the means to solve problems that were impossible to solve when I was a child.

I solved my eating disorder by getting dogs.

They get all the leftover food.

I go to the gym everyday.

But man I have some really fat dogs.

When I heard about this poor kid from Brooklyn who had spent his entire life fighting for equality, it struck a chord in me. I saw the pictures of him handcuffed and fighting against the police and I saw myself. I read the stories about him growing up in a tiny Brooklyn apartment and hearing his parents fighting over money and I related. I saw him standing on the Senate floor, still angry, yelling at the rich bastards who had kept him and his family down and something shifted in me.

This guy was just like me, but he was actually doing something about it.

Bernie Sanders woke me the fuck up and all that rage I had put on the shelf came flooding back with a vengeance. For the first time in my adult life I had a constructive outlet for my anger. I listened to every speech that Bernie had ever given and it put me in touch with something I had lost. Some of my friends said that they felt like I had joined a cult. I wondered how the hell they hadn’t joined it.

“There’s a revolution happening in America right now!!” I would tell them.

They thought I was crazy. And to be fair, I was. My well-meaning friends were probably the same kids who watched and did nothing while the rich kids dumped food on my lunch tray and laughed.

They couldn’t understand why I had such a strong reaction to this angry Senator from Vermont. They had never been truly poor a day in their lives.

They weren’t like Bernie.

They weren’t like me.

But I met a lot of people who were.

For every school cafeteria in America, there is a kid who sits alone, who doesn’t fit in, whose clothes don’t fit right. There are millions of us, but we never knew about each other before Sanders stood up. Alone, we are powerless, destined to be stomach-punched by the wealthy elite, destined to have leftover scraps heaped on our plates, while those in power laugh at the fact that we are so hungry that we must eat their waste.

We are the outcast misfits who started in the back of the line when the race began. We are brilliant and resourceful, because we’ve had to be. And when the rich kids call us “basement dwellers” we wear this title with pride. And when our friends think us crazy, we get new and better friends, because we are past the point of apologizing for our insanity and now accept fully that all truly amazing things have been accomplished by those that others dismissed as crazy.

Bernie Sanders stood up in the backyards of America and spoke to the poor and disenfranchised and every castaway, gypsy and vagabond stood up as one and raised their fists in solidarity. Soon there were so many of us that arenas could not hold us. While the rich kids grew weak and stringy from never having to fight, we grew stronger and more resourceful because fighting was all we ever did.

When someone says to me

“It’s too bad Bernie lost.”

I often say something like

“Bernie has already won. Millions of people are awake now. Bernie cannot lose, because what he stands for are a set of ideals. It is now our job to go forth and make sure those ideals come to fruition. This movement supersedes Sanders. It is the eternal battle of good versus evil, poor versus rich, The People vs The Oligarchy. This Revolution is just getting started.”

Then they look at me like I’m crazy. Because, in fact, that’s exactly what I am. But I am not alone. I have several million crazy friends.

And we are organized.

The rich kids are shaking in their $200 shoes.

THAT’S THE CHAPTER – I REALLY HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT!! THERE ARE MANY MORE EXCITING CHAPTERS IN THE FULL VERSION OF THE BOOK. 

berniebook

HERE ARE ALL THE DETAILS YOU NEED IN ONE EASY TO UNDERSTAND VIDEO (<—-CLICK HERE)

The video is kind of long.

 There was a lot I wanted to fit in.

Here are the bullet points.

If you want an electronic copy of the book, I’ll send you one out absolutely free

Just send an email to

 GoBernieGoBernieGo@gmail.com

 And I’ll get an electronic copy sent out to you as soon as it goes to press on August 28.

 If anyone wants to contribute to the publishing costs, they can do so by clicking the link below.

 DONATIONS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO RECEIVE THE BOOK!!

 There is also an exciting bonus program for founding members.

 Anyone who donates $27 or more will be part of The 27 Buck Club.

 Those people receive a physical copy of the book, shipped to their home, along with a second book, The Independent Thinker Chronicles.

 The Independent Thinker Chronicles is a compilation of articles I wrote while on the road with the campaign.

 In addition, anyone in The 27 Buck Club gets their name credited inside the book for being an integral part of getting the book to press.

 If joining The 27 Buck Club, please be sure to include the address of where your books are to be shipped.

 If no one donates I’ll foot the entire bill for the publishing and I’LL STILL SEND OUT THE FREE COPIES!!

If the crowdfunding is successful and there is any money left over after paying the publishing costs, these proceeds go to pay Ari’s schooling (see video for details).

 I wanted to structure this where everyone could get the book without paying for it.

But I also wanted to structure it where there was freedom to participate for those who wanted to and I wanted to reward those people with something exciting.

 This is my first time doing crowdfunding and also my first time self-publishing so I hope I did a good job with the structure.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this chapter and I really look forward to getting the book to you.

I’ve spent so much time trying to make it amazing.

I sincerely believe that it is a book that needed to be written and I’m honored to be able to be part of such an incredible movement.

Your friend in Revolution,

Michael E Sparks

bullhorn

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book My Bernie Journey – A Behind the Scenes Look at the 2016 Democratic Primary

The book will be released on August 28.

I have been working on it for over a year and I really believe that it is an accurate portrayal of the disenfranchisement that Sanders and his supporters faced at the hands of the Democratic Party.

It’s a good read, full of the anger, sadness and euphoria that we all experienced as part of Sanders’ historic campaign.

After you finish reading the chapter, scroll down and there will be instructions on how you can obtain a copy of the book at no charge.

There is also an opportunity to be part of the team that gets the book to press.

I sincerely promise to do everything in my power to promote this book to anyone and everyone who may help further the truth about the travesty that occurred against our movement during the 2016 “Democratic” Primary.

Please feel free to share this post with anyone whom you think may be interested in this project.

Without further ado, here’s the chapter.

1

No One Wanted to Talk About It

I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist.

This is not to say that there aren’t true conspiracy theories. As time passes and information becomes declassified we can look back through our country’s history and see that there are countless examples of our government lying to us. But I’ve always been a wait and see kind of guy. Credibility is incredibly important to me. I try to be careful what I say. If people don’t hold me as a credible source then they have no reason to trust my words and without that I’ve got nothing.

Having said all of that, there were definitely some serious shenanigans pulled by the Democratic Party in the 2016 primaries and ALL of it was carefully designed to ensure that Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee.

I have many good friends who became angry with Senator Sanders for not calling out the DNC for their blatant disregard of the Democratic process, but I disagree strongly with that assessment. Sanders would have sounded like a sore loser had he spoken out. The party’s corporate media arms would have crushed him.

It’s important to understand that Sanders was not welcome in the Democratic Party and the party had elaborate plans to invalidate him and his movement. In fact, some of the chicanery used against Sanders was actually designed to provoke him into speaking out, so that the Democratic Party could try to make him look like a paranoid old man. They would literally do underhanded things to Sanders and his supporters in hopes that our reaction could be used against us.

The Democratic Party was gaslighting the Sanders campaign and the media was waiting to pounce at every opportunity. Bernie was simply in a position where he could not speak out. Had Sanders taken the bait, the media would have torn him apart and Clinton would have said something like

“I find it sad that Senator Sanders doesn’t trust the American electoral process and that he clearly has some kind of disdain for the American voter.”

Bernie has been in government most of his life so he knows how the game works. He was, and still is, the uninvited guest at the dinner party. They are waiting for him to say or do something offensive, so that they can ask him to leave. But Bernie keeps smiling and complimenting the food while he tries to get us to run to the kitchen and change the recipe.

So when people say that Sanders should have called out the party for their obvious manipulation of the democratic process, what they are actually suggesting is that Bernie give up his seat at the table. There is technically nothing wrong with the table. It’s the other guests that are the problem.

We need better people at the table. And these guests are hard to move. They’ve grown fat gorging themselves at the corporate trough. To move them will take millions of people, standing together, pushing them from their thrones and into the gutter to be washed away like the corporate refuse that they are.

It’s not Bernie’s job to call them out on their malfeasance. It’s ours. If he loses his seat at the table, we all starve.

But make no mistake, there was a tremendous amount of electoral finagling on behalf of the Democratic Party during the 2016 Presidential primary.

Whether it was Bill Clinton showing up at polling places, walking through the crowd, shaking hands with people while they waited in line, in an attempt to sway their votes or the blatant rigging of the Democratic Election in Nevada by Roberta Gustave Lange, the Democratic Party was clearly working overtime to insure that Sanders and his supporters did not get a fair shake in the Democratic process.

In Nevada the convention was scheduled concurrently with the state college’s graduation day, meaning that many Sanders supporters, being of college age, had to choose between attending the convention or participating in their graduation ceremonies.

I am willing to concede that it is possible that this was just shoddy planning on the part of the Democrats in Nevada, but there were other things that occurred that make it nearly impossible for me to believe that this scheduling was an accident.

For example, knowing that Sanders supporters would be struggling to be inside the convention at the scheduled 10:00 am start time, due to graduation ceremonies, Gustave Lange made several changes to the rules at 9:30 AM, when she undoubtedly hoped the convention would be predominantly made up of Clinton supporters.

Lange was wrong.

Even thirty minutes before the convention actually began, Sanders delegates outnumbered Clinton delegates and voted down the rule changes. Lange changed the rules anyway and then proceeded to tally the number of total delegates for each candidate. When it was discovered that Sanders had won the convention by having over 1700 delegates present (so much for scheduling the convention on graduation day) then the DNC began to systematically eliminate Sanders delegates with no explanation given.

Once 64 Sanders delegates were disqualified, there was a recount and Clinton was declared the winner. The Nevada Democratic Convention was overwhelmingly in favor of Bernie Sanders, but when those disenfranchised by corruption tried to speak out, a wall of police came forth and the Sanders’ supporters were threatened with arrest if they did not disperse.

From behind the wall of police, Hillary Clinton’s friend and relative, Senator Barbara Boxer, attempted to provoke a violent response from the disenfranchised Sanders delegates by verbally taunting them and making an obscene gesture.

There was an internet rumor that Boxer flipped her middle finger at the Sanders delegates, but in actuality Boxer, a native of Brooklyn, raised her index finger in an “up yours” fashion. Which finger Boxer raised is wholly beside the point. The intention is absolutely the same. An elected official has no business rubbing salt in the wounds of the disenfranchised. No image more clearly defines the shattered relationship that the Democratic Party has with The People than the image of Boxer blatantly mocking the Sanders delegates from behind a wall of police. This single action wholeheartedly symbolizes the party’s entire “let them eat cake” attitude towards the American people.

As Boxer screamed from the stage for the Sanders delegates to shut up and accept that their voice was being stolen from them, one justifiably angry man raised a chair above his head for a moment and THIS was all the corporate media needed in order to spin their distraction story.

Finally the Sanders media blackout was at an end. Finally the media acknowledged the existence of millions of people who were fed up and were demanding that their government represent them.

But the corporate media was not talking about the impropriety of the Democrats. Instead they were talking about the man who raised the chair and then immediately set it back down. Roberta Lange and Barbara Boxer took to the airwaves saying that they feared for their lives. Sanders supporters were portrayed as being violent and deranged. Sanders himself was called upon to “speak to his followers” and once again the corporate media exposed themselves as being in bed with Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

Never mind that a “Democratic” convention was blatantly rigged and we had the video to prove it.

Never mind that hardworking delegates were stripped of their credentials without just cause.

Someone had raised a chair for half a second.

This was what Clinton’s corporate media backers had been waiting for.

Sadly, Nevada was not the only place where blatant electoral fraud was taking place. Close races in Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky showed large discrepancies between normally accurate exit polling and final vote counts.

Clinton barely squeezed out victories in all three states.

While I was in Iowa, I watched as Clinton paid staff showed up to caucus centers dressed in identical red uniforms to match that of the Nurses for Bernie volunteers with the sole intention of deceiving the Sanders’ voters, many of whom had never caucused before.

At one Iowa precinct, two Clinton volunteers told the Sanders’ caucusers that the building was over the fire safety limit and that they would have to go outside to have their votes counted. The rules of the caucus clearly stated that once caucus counts begin that you are not allowed to leave or your vote will be invalidated.

Across the country in New York, tens of thousands of Sanders’ supporters were literally pleading for their right to vote. These New Yorkers were denied this inalienable right, because they did not register as Democrats six months in advance of the primary and while this is not technically election fraud, it does point to the attitude that the Democratic Party has towards voters.

The message is and was loud and clear.

If you are not a member of our club, then you do not have a voice.

But there was actual election fraud in New York as well.

In Sanders’ childhood home of Brooklyn, New York, 122,454 registered voters had their voter eligibility stripped from them just days before the primary. The reason given for this unexpected purge was voter inactivity. These were voters who were registered, but had not voted since 2008 or earlier. As Sanders’ success was primarily based on a combination of first time voters and disenchanted voters returning to vote for a candidate after a latency period, it seems obvious that purging these voters hurt Sanders more than it hurt Clinton. Clinton was simply not the type of candidate that inspired voters to end their apathy and return to the fold. Sanders was.

When these Brooklynites showed up to vote for Senator Sanders a few days later, they found that they were no longer registered. When they attempted to register, they were informed that they were not allowed to participate in the primary, because they had not been registered as Democrats six months prior.

I can tell you, as a traveling volunteer, that I personally had access to canvassing and phone-banking information that informed me of whom each person I spoke with was planning to vote for. Obviously the Democratic Party had access to this same information. The systematic purging of over 100,000 voters days before a primary is a ridiculous assault on the intelligence and basic human rights of the American voter. It is a blatant and systematic assault on democracy itself.

Democrats are a very exclusive club. They can’t have just anyone walking in off the street and voting. These people might actually vote for someone that will change the system.

There are well manipulated controls instituted throughout our so-called Democracy that gently (and not so gently) herd the voters towards the desired corporate candidates. It is not to say that there is not some shred of Democracy left in America. To imply this would be too extreme. It is simply to say that there are controls in place at every level to insure that the candidates that have corporate backing also have the Democratic Party’s backing and any attempts to permeate this membrane will have to be extreme and consistent.

For those of you who read this and believe that there is no hope and therefore no reason to vote or take other civic actions, you are missing the point. The mere fact that we forced the man behind the curtain to show his face, ever so briefly, is progress. It wakes people up from the matrix and causes discontent. This discontent is our weapon against the oligarchical forces that control our government. Put simply, we have the numbers.

The solution isn’t apathy.

The solution is increased activity.

The solution is political revolution.

If you don’t know about the massive election fraud that took place in order to help Hillary Clinton and her campaign, then I just sound like a bitter and crazy Bernie-Bro, which is of course, the exact narrative that the corporate media continues to espouse to this very day.

It is easy to dismiss these claims of electoral manipulation as the rantings of a madman. But there is the simple fact that we literally have proof of nearly every single transgression. A cell phone video here, a leaked email there. It’s all out there for those who want to invest the time to learn the disgusting truth.

I hear myself.

I know what I sound like.

And in effect, I am actually being a conspiracy theorist, because I’m telling you that there was definitely and undeniably a MASSIVE conspiracy to insure that Hillary Clinton received the Democratic nomination.

The problem I have in retelling this sick, sad story isn’t in providing proof. It is in limiting myself in deciding which stories to tell, because there was simply so much electoral manipulation in the 2016 Democratic primary that in order to cover all of it would require several in depth tomes.

Absent from this chapter will be the closed polling stations in Arizona, that mysteriously corresponded with a sudden surge in voter registration, as a result of Sanders’ rapidly growing popularity.

I will not be able to give the time deserved to exit polling discrepancies that began in Massachusetts and then repeated in nearly every close race across the country where Clinton mysteriously prevailed.

Nor will I attempt to explain why the corporate media arms of the Democratic Party suddenly stopped conducting exit polling for the first time in thirty years when Sanders’ supporters began calling attention to said discrepancies.

I will not be able to adequately explain the crippling effect that corporate news outlets had on the Sanders campaign, by running super-delegate totals on their tickers, around the clock, months before the super-delegates even pledged, creating the illusion and narrative that Sanders was losing by a wide margin in their attempts to discourage people from going to the polls and making Sanders political revolution a reality.

I cannot elucidate the depths of corporate depravity required by the media monopoly that told voters that the California primary had already been won by Hillary Clinton the night before voting was to begin, in an attempt to insure that Sanders did not win the state by a landslide that would have secured him the number of delegates needed to insure the nomination. If this had occurred then Sanders would be the President of the United States right now and there was no way those in power were going to allow this to happen.

What I can do is fulfill the promise I made on page one of this book and share my personal story. For I was also a Bernie Sanders county and state delegate and I attended my state’s convention in Indiana.

Upon arrival Friday evening, I smiled and nodded my way into the opening night dinner. It was really my only option as I could not afford the ticket price.

Once inside I did my best to blend in among several hundred people dressed much nicer than myself. As women in flowing evening gowns took their seats next to men dressed in expensive suits, the lights began to dim and in quick succession prominent members of Indiana’s Democratic Party came to the microphone and talked about how wonderful it was to be a Democrat and what an amazing time it was to be alive to see the election of the “first woman President.”

I am not joking when I tell you that literally every person who came to the podium used the term “first woman President.”

There was only one problem with that;

Senator Bernie Sanders won the great state of Indiana.

We, The People, had worked hard and knocked on doors. We had stood in the rain and trudged through the snow. We had gone without things we needed to make our donations. And even though Indiana is one of the last states to hold its convention and even though we knew, by this point, that winning was a long-shot, this was still OUR convention.

We had won.

We were told a week before our primary that Nate Silver had gauged Hillary Clinton as a 99% lock to win our state and our response was to pack our meals so we could eat while canvassing. We stopped going back to the campaign center for new routes. During crunch time we would finish one route and text back for a new one. We called in friends from other states and they crashed on our floors so we could come from behind and win this. On voting day we drove around to polling stations to film the Clinton people who were stationed at the door trying to influence voters. We spoke with hostile Republicans who called us communists and got some of them to vote for Bernie Sanders. We were harassed by police and threatened by men with confederate flags. We did everything and then we did more and we won our state and I personally tweeted Nate Silver that evening and told him to “stick to sports predicting because if you haven’t noticed after Michigan and Indiana, there is a revolution happening in this country!”

We had won.

But none of the speakers mentioned that.

And then the speakers stopped and three giant movie screens, that I had failed to notice before, lit up with the face of Hillary Clinton and all three Hillary’s told me how grateful she was that her supporters came out to celebrate our pending victory against Donald Trump and the Republicans.

We had won.

Hillary forgot to mention that.

We had won.

But we were treated like losers.

The next morning, I arrived early to the convention, in hopes of encouraging my voters to support other national delegate contenders, that I felt were more deserving of the honor.

I showed up with my best attitude. I reminded myself repeatedly that I was not just representing myself, but that I was also representing Bernie Sanders. I tried to think how Bernie would act. I smiled and tried to shake hands with the Hillary delegates, but none of them seemed particularly interested in speaking with me, so I went inside to listen to the speakers from the Democratic Party.

Clinton super-delegate and my district’s Congressman, Andre Carson, took the podium and spoke for 20 minutes about the importance of being a Democrat and what an honor it was to see the “first woman President” make such a historic run.

He never mentioned Bernie.

Then Indiana Democratic governor candidate, John Gregg, took the microphone and spoke about how Democrats create jobs and how important it was to vote for Hillary Clinton so she could be come the “first woman President.”

John Gregg never mentioned Bernard Sanders or his delegates.

We were invisible.

The speakers were bumming me out so I decided to walk out to the hallway and recharge. As I did I noticed a lady with a tray full of gum. People were taking a piece and smiling at her and she was smiling back. That looked nice so I walked over, smiled and took a piece of gum.

“THIS gum is for HILLARY DELEGATES!!” she snarled at me.

I stood there thinking about how much I hated politics and wondered why I was wearing a damned tie and wondering why I had finally spent the money to get an actual adult haircut. I wondered why it mattered who chewed the gum or who didn’t. All they kept talking about inside was unity, but then when I tried to shake someone’s hand or eat a piece of gum then the unity was gone. Perhaps “unity” was just a code-word that meant Bernie Sanders delegates were supposed to sit down, shut up and fall in line.

I’m just some dude who spent his life screaming in punk bands. I am not accustomed to morose old slags glaring at me and telling me I don’t rank highly enough for free gum.

So I snapped.

“I’d rather my breath smell like DOGSHIT(!!!) than to chew Hillary Clinton gum!!!” I said tossing the gum back on the tray and walking away.

I took a seat in the Bernie delegate section next to a blind man, a dominatrix and my new friend who had kickass tattoos all over her face and neck.

Just me, my funky breath and my misfit friends trying to infect the not so Democratic Party.

THAT’S THE CHAPTER – I REALLY HOPED YOU ENJOYED IT!! THERE ARE MANY MORE EXCITING CHAPTERS IN THE FULL VERSION OF THE BOOK. 

berniebook

HERE ARE ALL THE DETAILS YOU NEED IN ONE EASY TO UNDERSTAND VIDEO

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO

The video is kind of long.
There was a lot I wanted to fit in.
Here are the bullet points.
If you want an electronic copy of the book, I’ll send you one out absolutely free
Just send an email to
GoBernieGoBernieGo@gmail.com
And I’ll get an electronic copy sent out to you as soon as it goes to press on August 28.
If anyone wants to contribute to the publishing costs, they can do so by clicking the link below.
DONATIONS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO RECEIVE THE BOOK!!
There is also an exciting bonus program for founding members.
Anyone who donates $27 or more will be part of The 27 Buck Club.
Those people receive a physical copy of the book, shipped to their home, along with a second book, The Independent Thinker Chronicles.
The Independent Thinker Chronicles is a compilation of articles I wrote while on the road with the campaign.
In addition, anyone in The 27 Buck Club gets their name credited inside the book for being an integral part of getting the book to press.
If joining The 27 Buck Club, please be sure to include the address of where your books are to be shipped.
If no one donates I’ll foot the entire bill for the publishing and I’LL STILL SEND OUT THE FREE COPIES!!
If the crowdfunding is successful and there is any money left over after paying the publishing costs, these proceeds go to pay Ari’s schooling (see video for details).
I wanted to structure this where everyone could get the book without paying for it.
But I also wanted to structure it where there was freedom to participate for those who wanted to and I wanted to reward those people with something exciting.
This is my first time doing crowdfunding and also my first time self-publishing so I hope I did a good job with the structure.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this chapter and I really look forward to getting the book to you.

I’ve spent so much time trying to make it amazing.

I sincerely believe that it is a book that needed to be written and I’m honored to be able to be part of such an incredible movement.

Your friend in Revolution,

Michael E Sparks

harrypottercupcake

Yesterday being Father’s Day, I made a post on social media that simply said

“For all you single mothers out there, doing the work of two parents, I wish you a Happy Father’s Day!!”

Simple enough, right?

Of course it’s not simple.

At first my post was well-received. Women began to say how nice it was to feel appreciated for doing the work of two parents and the whole forum was kind of a nice little love-fest.

But then, as you might expect, the white males came in to tell everyone that “a woman can never be a father.” It was very important to these white males that they remind everyone that their gender is decided by the genitals they had at birth and therefore women could never be fathers and men could never be mothers.

I don’t so much care about their arguments. People are allowed to believe what they want to believe. What bothers me is that suddenly it seems that we are not allowed to express ANY opinion on ANY subject without white males reminding us that we are wrong in such a forceful way as to make everyone wonder why these white males are so invested in a topic that would seem trivial to any normal person.

But nothing is trivial to the white male.

A thousand year reign of global dominance is not enough for him. Now, as our nation and our planet takes baby steps towards equality, the white male is here to remind us, in every public forum, that they have a voice and that their voice should be recognized as important.

And before I get too worked up, I want to say that not ALL white males are opinionated ass-hats, but whenever you see someone on a soapbox telling everyone else how they should live their lives, what religion they are allowed to practice, what gender they are allowed to be, what they can do with their reproductive rights, what flowers they are allowed to inhale or who they are allowed to have consensual sex with, it is always an entitled, blowhard, self-important white male standing front and center sermonizing to the rest of us.

These white males, having never faced any of the struggles that others face, are somehow experts on what everyone else should do.

It’s a bloody miracle!!

How did this one group of people become an expert for all of us?

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I’m not sure why this one group has become so much more important than all other people combined, but we would be wise to listen to the white male, because he is basically a giant, well-armed toddler. Instead of throwing himself on the ground and banging his fists, the modern white-male throws their temper tantrums with violence and pseudo-violence.

If you choose a religion that isn’t Christianity, the white male will be there to harass, beat and maybe even murder you.

If a woman has the audacity to dress in a way that the white male doesn’t approve of, he will be there to tell her how offensive her choice of attire is. Sure, the white male can walk around in camouflage pants and no shirt, showing off his C-cups, but if a woman dares to show the tiniest bit of cleavage there will be a white male there to tell her exactly how she should be dressing, while simultaneously hitting on her, of course.

White males seem to be everywhere, letting us all know their opinion on nearly every subject under the sun. If you are colorblind do not fret, you can do an auditory identification of this breed from a distance based on their booming voice and improper use of the word FACT.

White males often use the word FACT to mean MY OPINION WHICH NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO QUESTION. They seem to think that if they say their opinions loud enough and often enough then their opinions magically transform into FACTS. They confuse the glazed over look of their audience with compliance when in reality it is boredom.

Some of the white male’s favorite catch-phrases are

“FACTS are FACTS.”

“Those are just the FACTS.”

and

“I’m sorry if you don’t like FACTS, but I didn’t make the rules.”

But actually you did make the rules. Or at the very least, one of your ancestors did. And with all due respect, (which is the EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF RESPECT THAT EVERYONE ELSE IS ENTITLED TO!!!) we tried your rules and they worked out pretty great for YOU, but they kind of sucked for everyone else.

So maybe you can just sit your #AllLivesMatter ass down for just a minute and let women decide what to do with their own bodies and maybe keep your opinions off of them, as you literally have zero idea what it’s like to be female.

Perhaps you could STFU for a goddamned minute and allow people to worship as they see fit.

And perhaps you could actually READ that Constitution you’re always quoting, because when you do, you will find that it was written by some very intelligent white men, who understood that color and gender weren’t as important as every human being’s inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So, in spite of it offending all the white male snowflakes out there, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you once again to all the single mom’s who raised children by themselves and did the work of both Mom and Dad.

Happy Mother AND Father’s Day to YOU every day of the year.

You deserve to be celebrated.

White males who don’t agree with my opinion on this matter, feel free to express your thoughts and feelings, but you’ll have to do it with your noses in the corner, because I’m putting you in timeout.

After that, I want you to head over to the chalkboard and write 100 times

“I promise to stop commenting on things I couldn’t possibly understand.”

Time to grow up white boy.

The world is changing.

You better start changing with it.

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Michael E Sparks is a white male who doesn’t have a clue as to how other people should worship, dress or manage their reproductive rights. If you appreciate his voice consider throwing him a buck or two by clicking HERE. Michael promises not to use the money to oppress anyone different than him.

 

 

 

THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. IT IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. THE AUTHOR WANTS TO STRESS THAT HE BELIEVES IN NON-VIOLENT PASSIVE RESISTANCE. THE AUTHOR DOES NOT CONDONE VIOLENCE AGAINST GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN ANY WAY.

It all started at a baseball diamond.

Baseball had once been called America’s pastime. Before anger, hatred, poverty and desperation had consumed the lives of the populous, back in a simpler time, people gathered in fields to throw a horsehide covered ball, perchance to hit it with a wooden bat and run with wind in hair towards the promise land 360 feet away from where they began.

But times had changed.

It all started at a baseball diamond.

Where rich, corrupt government officials gathered to play the grand ol game, but were interrupted by man with a gun screaming about healthcare between shots.

A Congressman was shot and wounded and the assailant killed.

Everyone said the right things. Everyone publicly denounced the action as insanity. Everyone agreed that times were desperate, but that violence was not the answer.

But somehow this was different.

In living rooms across America normally peaceful people said things like

“I abhor violence, but when you take away people’s healthcare you technically are murdering them, so I see why the man was angry.”

Peace-loving leftists had begun saying things like

“It’s wrong to use violence, but the Congressman who was shot voted for mentally ill people to be able to buy firearms so…”

Then a shot rang out during a press conference.

A Senator was there speaking one moment, then a moment later a gruesome visage filled television screens as the man’s head was somehow severed in half. Reporters scrambled for safety, but a second shot never came.

News outlets announced that the Senator had been killed by a sniper. The city came to a grinding halt as police searched for an assassin they knew they would never find. Over the next several days the FBI brought in many people for questioning. All of them were military trained snipers.

The media was loving it.

Behind fake displays of sadness and compassion from TV anchors there was excitement. Everyone was watching as they said the most exciting words in all of journalism

“We want to warn you. The images you are about to see are very graphic and disturbing. Parents please have your children leave the room.”

But no one left the room.

People watched the man with the disappearing head with the same rubbernecking, macabre interest children show towards a bug trying to escape the piercing ray from their magnifying glass on a hot summer’s day. Everyone had a theory about who the shooter was. People talked about it on the Internet and around water coolers.

A week later everyone stopped talking about the Senator.

There was a new story.

Something more exciting.

Congressmen all over the country began to get sick all at the same time, seven of them in total. All seven were rushed to respective hospitals. Six died the first night. The seventh succumbed the following morning.

A group of nurses, calling themselves The Sisters of Mercy, took responsibility for the murders. They even explained how they had orchestrated the event. Each woman had went to visit their Congressmen and simply shook their hands. During the handshake each woman had brought their other hand over the top of their Congressman’s hand encompassing it and sliding a tiny needle into it.

Each man had felt a tiny prick, but ignored it and continued to lock eyes with his would-be assailant and pretended to listen to their concerns. A few hours later the Congressmen all fell ill. By the next day the coroners had all found the toxin and the by nightfall all seven women had been taken into custody.

They did not resist.

A viral video was released that explained their motives.

The Sisters of Mercy said that they were reluctant to kill, but that they had each watched far too many innocent people die while under their care, due to lack of affordable healthcare and that they wanted to make an example out of the men who had taken that healthcare away from those they had sworn to protect.

In the video, the group’s leader, Mary Ingram showed her father deteriorating towards death and dementia as she tearfully explained that she had lost her job when she had been caught stealing medicine to keep her father’s pain at bay.

In the video, all the women cried while they explained to their children that they were sorry. They all said that they knew they would be caught and that being caught was part of their plan to shed light on what they called “an epidemic of greed that was killing innocent people.”

But it was not the only video going viral.

guyfawkes

The Internet became flooded with videos of people in Guy Fawkes’ masks, hiding behind VPNs who used voice changing software to announce to the world that more murders were coming and that more representatives would be made examples of unless certain conditions were met.

There were so many of these videos that it became impossible to distinguish real threats from fake ones. In Omaha, Nebraska a twelve year old was arrested on live TV for making one of the videos. In New York city a man who “mainly kept to himself” was captured (also on live TV) and incarcerated as well.

This pattern repeated all over the country. There were even arrests made overseas. But the videos kept on coming. All fit the same pattern. It was impossible to tell where the enemy was coming from, but no one was actually being attacked.

It had been ten days since the Sisters of Mercy killings and things were returning to normal.

But it was the Town Hall in Alabama where things really went south.

Most Congressional members had canceled their Town Halls in light of recent violence, but not Billy Tubbs. He wasn’t one to be “pushed around by a bunch of do-nothing liberals.”

Billy showed up at his Town Hall surrounded by armed police officers and announced to the room that he “was not afraid and would not be bullied.” The crowd was angry at the police presence and things became heated. Screaming lead to pushing and shoving, which lead to a young officer pointing his gun at the crowd. Which lead to the crowd storming the stage. Which then lead to shots being fired into the crowd.

Chaos ensued.

Tubbs escaped unharmed, but damage was done.

Several police officers were badly beaten and about forty members of the crowd sustained significant injuries, most from being trampled, a few from gunshot wounds.

There was one fatality.

Shayla Reid, a 19 year old political activist, had been struck in the chest with a bullet and died before ambulances arrived.

In the days following, cell phone footage of Shayla’s tragic death circulated and the nation was in mourning. Shayla struck a chord with people. She was everyone’s child.

News outlets showed childhood photos of Shayla around the clock, along with tearful interviews with her parents.

The collective consciousness of the nation was altered by Shayla’s death.

The insanity might have ended right there if not for a statement put out on social media by The President in which he said that Shayla’s death was “what happens when paid protesters show up and ruin it for everybody else.”

This rubbed salt in the country’s open wound.

Vigils for Shayla sprang up all over the country.

Shayla’s parents encouraged everyone to take one day off work and “stand in silence for Democracy and to honor Shayla’s memory.”

One day turned into two, which turned into three…

The nation’s productivity ceased.

Life would have probably returned to the normal after a week or two if it weren’t for the bomb.

The bomb changed everything.

(WRITER’S NOTE: THIS IS JUST AN IDEA I WAS TOYING AROUND WITH. THIS IS JUST THE FIRST CHAPTER. IF THERE WERE A HUGE DEMAND FOR IT, I MAY CONSIDER WRITING MORE. I JUST WANTED TO GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD AND INTO SOME TANGIBLE FORM. I KNOW I SAID IT AT THE BEGINNING, BUT I REALLY WANT TO STRESS THAT THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION AND NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY. VIOLENCE IS BAD MMMMKAY? DON’T KILL PEOPLE. YOUR MOTHER TAUGHT YOU BETTER THAN THAT.)

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Michael E Sparks is a good ol boy from Indiana. He loves to write. If you want to give him more time to pursue his passion then you can be super-nice and drop him a dollar or two HERE. He GREATLY APPRECIATES those who believe in his work and take the time to read it.

I awoke this morning to news that a man took a gun to a baseball diamond and began shooting people.

But this was not your ordinary every day American spree shooting. This was not a white supremacist shooting up a black church or mosque. This wasn’t some moron shooting innocent people in a movie theater or a homophobe targeting young people in a nightclub.

This shooter was a liberal.

And to make matters more complex, he was not shooting innocent people.

He was shooting Republican Congressmen while shouting about healthcare.

While my knee-jerk reaction is to renounce this incident and while my heart certainly goes out to the brave police officers who risked their lives to subdue the shooter, I really have trouble feeling bad for the GOP Congressman, Steve Scalise, who is recovering nicely while receiving the best healthcare that our tax dollars can buy.

You see, Mr. Scalise and his colleagues believe that they deserve to have their gun shot wounds treated and that you and I should foot the bill. But when it comes to our healthcare, they feel radically different on the matter.

In addition to his hypocrisy on healthcare, Scalise and his Republican comrades have repeatedly passed bills that allow guns to fall into the hands of the mentally ill, while simultaneously cutting funding to help those suffering from mental illness.

These bills cause real pain and suffering in the lives of real Americans. These bills cause the deaths of innocent people on a daily basis, not to mention that the continual outpouring of NRA propaganda, spewed forth by these so-called representatives, results in gun violence routinely directed at our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

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These Republicans are big on thoughts and prayers, but don’t seem to care about passing meaningful gun control legislation or protecting the rights of those gunshot victims to receive the same level of healthcare that Mr Scalise received today as he was carted off the field.

With all due respect Mr. Republican, your thoughts and prayers did nothing to help the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando.

Your thoughts and prayers did nothing for Dylann Roof’s victims, who only wanted to participate in a peaceful Sunday morning church service.

Your thoughts and prayers did nothing for the little babies murdered at Sandy Hook.

Your thoughts and prayers are useless to us.

In fact, to be completely blunt about it, you can shove your thoughts and prayers right up your ass.

What Americans need are sensible gun control laws and Universal Healthcare. You instead choose to spew rhetoric designed to confuse The People while lining your pockets with our tax dollars and NRA lobbyist money.

Honor victims of gun violence during week of tragedy

So forgive me if I do not feel sorry for you, Mr. Scalise. I know, as a liberal, I am supposed to be above it all. But I have watched you and your cohorts dismantle my country and directly contribute to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and I have grown numb.

And now, The People have become so desperate, so disenfranchised, that ordinary citizens are finally desperate enough to begin taking desperate measures.

When we were suffering all you offered were thoughts and prayers, so that’s all I have for you in return.

We have been the victims of your inhumane policies for far too long.

All of our sympathy and good will has been used up burying our own friends and family.

We have none left over for our oppressors.

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I am reminded of the immortal words of great Americans John F. Kennedy and Thomas Jefferson.

Kennedy said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

While Jefferson said “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

And we have been living under tyranny in this country for far too long.

When we watch our loved ones die by the hands of the very people who were sworn to protect us, there WILL BE RESENTMENT. While I stop short of condoning the actions of the gunman, I believe that many Americans are feeling the same desperation that he felt when he woke up this morning and decided to head out to the baseball diamond.

They are feeling scared and desperate.

Violence is certainly not the answer, but let us never forget that it is an option to be used when ALL OTHER options have been exhausted. We do not condone violence. We stand for peaceful, political revolution and we believe in exhausting all peaceful means to attain that revolution. But let us not forget that our founding fathers spoke of our DUTY to take up arms against a tyrannical government.

When you take away healthcare that WE PAID FOR WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS and innocent people die, that is tyranny.

When you pass gun laws that allow the mentally ill to purchase firearms to terrorize their fellow citizens, that is tyranny.

When you continue to take millions from corporate lobbyists and lie to the very people that you are sworn to protect, that is tyranny.

Your ivory towers can only protect you for so long.

Your town halls should be an ample reminder that the citizens are fed up and on the verge of revolt.

You cannot run.

You cannot hide.

You’re going to have to do something radical if you want to quell the insurrection that is brewing in this country.

You’re going to have to actually represent your constituents for a change.

You’re going to have to actually do your fucking job.

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Michael E Sparks is an Independent writer and political activist. If you believe in his words and his work you can drop him a dollar or two by clicking HERE. Your support buys Michael time to work on Progressive projects and is GREATLY appreciated.