How Juice Fasting Almost Killed Me

First off, despite the dramatic title, I want to say that juice fasting or juice cleansing is wonderful and when done correctly it can be an amazing, physically cathartic experience. I’m a HUGE fan of Joe Cross and his Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentaries and I have seen MANY people completely reboot their lives and overcome chronic disease through juice fasting.

BUT I DID IT ALL WRONG!!

And before I tell you why I should have never done this 28 day juice fast, I’ll also tell you that I’m extremely happy that I did and even though it nearly killed me, it actually, kind of saved my life.

happy

My story is a familiar one. Working my desk job, combined with way too many carbohydrates, had me feeling sick and sluggish. A plethora of ailments began to take hold of my body and pretty soon I found myself walking into the bedroom and saying to my partner, Carrie

“I’m just going to fast and give my body a chance to heal. I have no appetite anyway, so this should be pretty easy.”

“How long are you going to fast?” Carrie asked.

“Until my blood pressure is normal and I get all this fat off my torso.” I replied.

As Carrie and I are trying to become pregnant I joked with people that Carrie was “now eating for two.”

“You’re pregnant?!” they’d exclaim.

“No, I’m fasting.” I’d say “She now has to eat for me, too.”

fasting2

I’m certainly no stranger to fasting, having done many seven day fasts in my twenties and still, to this day, I am an avid practitioner of 16 hour per day intermittent fasting (this just means that I only eat during an eight hour window each day – there is a LOAD of scientific data discussing the benefits of this and it’s incredibly easy to do once you get used to it. Easy Hack: It’s even easier when you put coconut oil and grass-fed butter into your morning coffee, because the fat will have you feeling full all morning.)

But one look at my gut and my horrifying 153/110 blood pressure reminded me that this wasn’t going to be a seven day fast. This was going to take a while and I had no idea how long it would last.

I was literally fat, sick and wondered, in the darkest corners of my mind, if I was nearing death.

This is NOT your typical “I juiced and now I feel amazing!!” blog. My goal here is to help other sick people from falling into the pit I did. You get to learn from my mistakes. What a bargain!!

fasting3

I had been feeling run down and achy. Working at home on a project that was fairly mindless had me smoking WAY too much marijuana. I knew it was getting out of control and the little voice in my head kept telling me that I should give it a break. My father was an addict and incredibly abusive, so I always get concerned anytime I start to lean on something. This project was mind-numbingly boring and the pot made it slightly less so. With each puff I wondered if I was giving myself lung cancer. By the way, as a quick aside, people like to say that marijuana isn’t as bad as cigarettes. Well, it is and it isn’t. There are actually a few things about smoking pot that are extremely bad for you. In short, unfiltered heat and tar on your lungs and throat cause health problems. I’m not going to get into a detailed discussion of terpanoids and carcinogens here. Suffice it to say that marijuana has its pros and cons and when you are abusing it the way I was, the cons start winning out. To make matters even worse, I had recently started vaping marijuana juice, which contains diacetyl. Diacetyl, which is in most vape juices, not only causes breathing issues, but it’s just too freaking convenient. I was high all day, every day. Then one day, my throat, lungs and esophagus started to burn…BAD!!

diacetyl

I threw the juice cartridge in the trash and cut my marijuana usage way back. But every time I would try to take a traditional smoking hit with friends, I’d get really sick. I lost my appetite. I lost my energy and honestly, I got really freaking scared.

So I started juice fasting.

I rewatched both Fat, Sick documentaries, as well as Super Juice Me and the EXCELLENT documentary on Prime simply called Fasting and I read tons of articles on fasting to make sure that I was putting the absolute best organic juice into my system.

Obviously the first few days were extremely difficult. I was not only giving up food and marijuana, but also my daily wine intake had been between two and four glasses with dinner each evening, as well as the occasional bourbon (are you starting to see how I got sick?.) But I was really expecting things to get better around day four. Like I said, I had fasted many times and once I got through the initial detox phase, a wonderful wave of energy and mental clarity would wash over me.

But mine never came.

To make matters worse, I was having incredibly vivid and disturbing nightmares each night. These visions were so bad that I began to fear sleep. In addition to my body attacking me, my mind, it seemed, had decided to join in.

fasting4

I was in agony. The pain became completely isolated in my throat and esophagus and it worsened by the day, combining with a metallic taste in my mouth. And there was something new. I couldn’t breath. My chest became extremely tight and I absolutely could not get a full breath. Of course, I thought that I was having a heart attack, but the symptoms would come and go. I continued to describe the symptoms to friends and family as “a scratchiness behind my sternum.” and I noticed that certain yoga positions (I’ve been doing yoga religiously for the last couple of months) would exacerbate my discomfort.

What the hell was going on?!

Everyone was telling me that it was probably just sinus issues due to seasonal allergies. I had never struggled with these before, but I started taking a plethora of different allergy meds, had our furnace and vents cleaned, starting sleeping with an air purifier and humidifier next to my bed, yet the pain persisted.

pain

I clearly wasn’t having a heart attack, at least not a major one, as the symptoms would come and go. So off I went to talk to Dr. Google.

Dr. Google is a merciless masochist for paranoids like myself. I learned that you simply cannot type the word esophagus into Google without page after page of articles about esophageal cancer popping up. According to Dr. Google my worst fears were real. I had given myself cancer with all the marijuana smoking and vaping. I put on a good show for the kids, then went into the shower and silently cried. “What have I done? I betrayed Carrie and the kids. I fucking killed myself!!”

I was absolutely enveloped in shame.

But wait, the scratchiness and burning stopped while I was in the shower. You can’t get rid of cancer by taking a shower. An hour later the pain returned. I hopped back into the steaming hot shower. It went away again. What the actual hell was going on?!

Bathroom-Singer

I went to the doctor. She said that she thought my throat and esophagus were inflamed from smoking pot and told me to drink hot tea with honey. She also said that she thought I had asthma and gave me an inhaler.

As I was in constant pain and could never get a full breath, hot tea and my inhaler became my constant companions. And oh, there was something else. I started to get really, really cold. I was wearing layers around the house, in the middle of summer, just holding a cup of extremely hot chamomile tea, sipping it constantly, just to keep warm. I knew something was really wrong when Carrie and Chloe (my daughter) were both talking about how hot it was and I had my hoodie pulled up and was wearing flannel.

After everyone went to bed, I Googled my symptoms (by the way, this is such a typical male maneuver. I didn’t want to worry anyone so I kept this secret. I am working really hard to stop doing things like this.) I was not myself. I could barely form coherent thought. According to Google I was severely dehydrated. How could I be dehydrated when I was drinking all this juice? It turns out that juice doesn’t have much in the way of electrolytes, so when juicing you have to really up your water intake. I thought about it and I couldn’t actually remember the last time I had peed. Google said to drink chicken broth and lemon water with a pinch of salt and sugar in it. As I said, I was not able to really form complete thoughts so finding these items was surprisingly difficult for me. My daughter walked into the kitchen at 1:30 in the morning and saw that every single can in every single cabinet was dragged out and onto the floor.

“I need lemons and chicken broth.” I barely got out through an incredibly dry mouth. Chloe found these items for me and stayed with me for an hour as I sat on the kitchen floor and shivered, drinking alternately from a bowl of broth and a glass of lemon water, gradually starting to feel better. Once I finally had to pee I looked at it and saw that it was brown. I had never had brown urine before. My ignorance of how to hydrate properly during a juice fast had made me very sick.

desert

And I felt incredibly alone…

Giving up food and wine and pot and friends and sex (when you’re really sick you just can’t be around people. I knew Carrie was feeling lonely too, but I had nothing to offer her.) had me feeling extremely isolated. I was just playing my guitar and singing for hours a day, just to keep my mind off whatever the hell was happening to me. I’ve been down in the abyss before, but never this deep. I was so scared and so lonely and the pain kept increasing.

So I scheduled another doctor’s appointment. This time with a different doctor. I knew I needed to find someone new to help me with this.

The new doctor said “I think you have asthma.”, which sounded like beautiful music compared to my cancer fears, but then she added “But I want a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and luuuuuuuung caaaaanceeeeeer.”

When she said “lung cancer” it was like the scene in the movie where the needle slides abruptly off the record.

I said “Didn’t you just say that you didn’t hear any pneumonia when you listened to my lungs?!”

“Yeah. I did. But there IS some wheezing.” she replied.

“Okay then, by process of elimination you just said that you think that I have lung cancer.”

She smiled and said “I don’t think you have lung cancer. I think you have asthma. I just need the x-ray to rule everything else out.”

“When will I get the results?” I asked.

“It will take about an hour.” she said “I’ll call you with the results.”

“I’ll just wait here.” I said “I just can’t hear news like that over the phone.”

scaredI sat in the waiting area and tried to read my book for the next hour. Each time the door opened I sat upright, fear pulsing through my body. I suppose I should inform you that my paranoia regarding lung cancer was largely informed by two things, my cousin, who never smoked and who was the closest thing I had to a brother growing up, and who was only two years older than I am, recently died of lung cancer. I can’t tell you how incredibly sad this made me and how it informed my fears on this matter. Also, I had recently made a new friend, who upon our second meeting came out and said

“I have no idea why I’m telling you this, but I’m currently battling lung cancer.”

“Were you a smoker?” I asked.

“Never.” he said.

Finally a nurse came out and said “Mr. Sparks, the doctor would like to speak with you.”

“Oh shit!!” I thought “If they are calling me back it must be really bad.”

As the door leading me down the hallway to the rest of my life opened, the nurse turned to me and said

“I’m sorry. The doctor is busy. I’ll just tell you. Your x-ray is totally normal. You have asthma.”

She handed me a prescription for another inhaler.

I turned to Carrie and said

“By ‘normal’ do you think they mean a ‘normal’ amount of lung cancer?”

“Just stop it.” Carrie said, laughed and punched me on the arm.

joy

So I had asthma. I started to accept it. I Googled the symptoms and sure enough, I had every single one. I hit the inhalers when I couldn’t breath and carried on with my juice fast, making sure to juice lots of celery, beets, carrots, red cabbage, ginger and anything else that was even remotely rumored to help asthma sufferers.

I dived deep into the literature and even took a class on breathing methods that was supposed to help with asthma. I learned that asthma was way more serious than I ever knew and that developing it at my age meant that it was even more dangerous. I learned that asthma kills 11 Americans every single day and that my asthma was way worse than any of the asthma my friends had. They would get the occasional attack, whereas my attacks would last for hours. I spent more hours having attacks than I did not having them. In my breathing class I found out that many asthma attacks are ironically triggered by over-breathing and this usually occurs when the asthmatic breathes through their mouth.

I dragged my sick self to perform at an open mic and by the time my set was finished I couldn’t even catch my breath. I honestly thought I was going to die right there on the stage. Turns out I suck in a lot of air when I sing, which leads me to have really bad attacks. So I had to give that up too. Which wasn’t too much of a surprise, because lately I had been finding it increasingly difficult to speak. I suppose the most ridiculous thing I did during this time was I actually started taping my mouth shut while I was asleep. Sleep, I learned from the asthma class, was the time when most mouth-breathing was done. The solution? Tape your mouth shut while you sleep. Crazy, right?

I joked with Carrie that all my exes had been wanting to do this to me for years.

A man with duct tape over his mouth.Similar Images:

It wasn’t all bad. The juicing was achieving great strides in my blood pressure and resting heart-rate and inches were coming off my torso. Also the arthritis in my hands was subsiding. Twice I tried to play basketball with my best friend, thinking that it might be fun to see how it felt to elevate in a lighter body and shoot baskets with hands that didn’t hurt and twice I had to apologize and go home.

I just couldn’t breathe.

And neither of the inhalers were working. I was doing everything the doctor told me and reading a ton about asthma on the internet. I found out that my city, Indianapolis, has some of the worst air in the country and that Colorado is overflowing with transplanted asthmatics who go there to breathe the thin mountain air to slow down their asthma attacks. I told Carrie that we had to find a way to generate more money so we could move to Colorado. I think she thought I had lost my mind.

crazy

Every time I stopped being able to breathe I hit the inhaler. Each time the pain got worse and breathing became even more difficult. I told Chloe “I’m running out of Google search combinations. I don’t know how to fix this.”

I set another doctor’s appointment, again with a new doctor. And while I waited I kept reading and then I had my eureka moment!!

I found out that people with severe acid reflux often get asthma because the acid actually gets into their lungs and causes their airways to constrict. I rushed to the drugstore and bought Pepcid AC. I downed a capsule and waited.

Nothing.

I still couldn’t breathe. I was still on fire.

I called the doctor and told her that I thought maybe acid reflux was causing my asthma.

“Have you ever had acid reflux before?” she asked.

“Never.” I said “But I need to try something. These asthma inhalers are making me worse.”

She called in a prescription for Maximum Strength Zantac. I took it. Nothing.

Back to Google. Dr. Google said to mix a little baking soda in water and drink it. I tried. It seemed to get a little better.

Dr. Google said to drink apple cider vinegar. I did. It was like battery acid. It made it worse.

Dr. Google said to CHEW FUCKING GUM!!

“Where you going?” Chloe said.

“To the store to get gum. It says on all these acid reflux websites that chewing gum helps.” I said.

“That seems crazy.” she said.

“I know.” I said “But I’m desperate and out of ideas.”

I paid for the gum. Popped it in my mouth. And for the first time in a month everything stopped burning.

I came home elated.

“I have GERD!!” I said.

“What is GERD?” Carrie asked.

“Gastroesophagal Reflux Disease. Basically heartburn, but it’s chronic and much more serious. If you don’t get a handle on it, it causes ulcers in your esophagus and esophageal cancer, both of which can kill you.”

So I started doing all the standard things that acid reflux sufferers do when they get serious about getting rid their disease. I took antacids of all kinds. I even ordered antacids from England, because they have far superior antacids there (antacids that contain Sodium Alginate not only stop stomach acid, but also stop Pepsin from leaking into your esophagus and Pepsin is the REAL killer when it comes to GERD.) I elevated the head of my bed so I could sleep without acid pouring into my lungs. I drank baking soda water and aloe vera juice around the clock and chewed gum constantly, which is actually quite difficult when your jaws haven’t chewed for 28 days. The gum was really the only thing that helped.

gum

I reasoned that I should start eating again. After all, my blood pressure was where I wanted it and I was curious if eating food would give my stomach acid something to do besides attack my throat and esophagus.

I started slowly with just some light soups and a few bites of produce and OH MY GOD THE ACID CAME IN BUCKETS!! I was in absolute agony. Every single thing I ate caused my reflux to get SO MUCH WORSE!! And, yeah, I had perused the list of trigger foods and made sure to avoid them.

It seemed that I could eat absolutely nothing.

So I suffered. After 28 days without food, I was now afraid of food. When I wasn’t eating I was in pain and when I did eat I was in hell. And I hadn’t been able to get a deep breath for weeks. I wondered if I ever would again.

Until one night, I was back, deep into Google, reading everything ever written about GERD, LPF and Silent Reflux when I came across a doctor in France who claimed that he cured himself of GERD with a low carb diet. And he wrote a book about it. His reasoning intrigued me so I purchased the e-book and twelve hours later I had finished it.

man reading a book

Horrified at the prospect of eating food, I fearfully approached the stove where I made scrambled eggs. I ate them and waited. No fire. A few hours later I made bacon, ate it and waited. No fire. I still had the pain, but eating these foods hadn’t worsened it, unlike every other food I had eaten since breaking the fast. I suddenly realized that drinking the juice had always put me in more pain. Juicing was literally making me sick.

According to the book’s author, Dr. Norman Robillard, GERD is caused by carbohydrates that your body cannot digest fermenting in your lower intestine, thus causing the gas to force the acid and pepsin out of your stomach and into your esophagus and throat.

Juicing, for me, was the absolute worst thing that I could do.

gross

I have a new doctor’s appointment this week and I plan to use the time to educate my doctor about how to cure this awful disease, so she won’t be prescribing asthma medications to her GERD patients and making them sicker (Albuterol, the most common asthma medication, actually worsens acid reflux.) And somewhere between here and England are some super-expensive antacid tablets that I won’t need by the time they arrive at my door.

I’ve been taking HUGE life-affirming breaths for the past three days and every morning I wake up with slightly less fire in my chest.

Juicing is wonderful and I encourage everyone to check it out and see if it’s right for them. But if you have reflux issues it may cause them to get out of control.

If you have GERD get rid of the carbs (and possibly dairy – I tried to eat cheese and it just annihilated me.) You’ll lose a lot of weight which also really helps with acid reflux.

I know doctors mean well and sometimes we need them, but honestly, you are going to have to be your own doctor in many cases. There’s a lot of information and misinformation on the internet.

But the truth IS out there.

I’m living proof.

Stats:

Blood Pressure Before Fast: 153/110                                               After Fast: 117/72

Resting Heart Rate Before Fast: 97                                                  After Fast: 59

Weight Before Fast: 222                                                                     After Fast: 188

dresswithgun
Hi, I’m Michael E Sparks and I am a freelance writer. If my writing helps you in any way, please consider donating $1 by clicking HERE. Thank you and keep being AWESOME!!

 

 

Bernie 2020 – It’s Just Not the Same

Edited by Misty Esparza

After licking my wounds from the great injustice of the 2016 “Democratic” election and watching my country be dealt a possibly fatal blow, as a White Supremacist manipulated social media, the electoral college and “the poorly educated” into putting him in charge of the country, I said repeatedly, to anyone who would listen

“I really hope Bernie Sanders runs again in 2020.”

I was pretty active in the 2016 election. I literally contacted his campaign the week he announced his candidacy and was actually in a meeting later that evening. I learned what grassroots truly meant. There were only 12 of us at the first meeting and we all left with multiple jobs. My 13 year old daughter was in charge of social media.

minibernie
Chloe went all over the country with me. Here we met an usher at a Bernie speaking event in Columbus, Ohio. We called this guy mini-Bernie.

It was an exciting time. I would listen to Bernie’s speeches around the clock and then find ways that I could immerse myself into large groups of people where I could pass out fliers and pamphlets (printed on my home computer, because the campaign was so new they did not have official materials yet) that educated others about the exciting policies of this great man. My excitement was so great that I actually began driving to other states to canvass for Bernie. My partner Carrie and our two kids went to Iowa, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Alabama, North and South Carolina and several other states, visiting 57 cities in total, spreading the gospel of Bernie Sanders. Everywhere we went we met new friends who were making great sacrifices to spread the word about this exciting campaign. We killed two cars and collected lots of speeding tickets and in the end a lot of people asked me to write a book about our experiences volunteering, and I did. It was an incredibly exciting time.

cover2

So when Bernie announced that he was running again in 2020, I expected to be ecstatic. After all, our country needs Bernie’s message and policies now more than ever, as we find ourselves under tyrannical rule of a Nazi who threatens to completely piss on The Constitution and become emperor for life.

empforlife

So why do I feel so empty?

For me the answer is obvious, I simply have untreated election PTSD from the atrocities that occurred in 2016, where the “Democratic” party lied, stole and cheated to elevate both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton into position so that Clinton would be the next president, only to have the whole thing blow up in their face with an explosion so huge that our entire country continues to pay the price to this day and will continue to pay for many more decades.

As much as I desire to put this behind me and move on, something has been taken from me, from my family – and I know that there are millions of hardworking Americans who made similar and even greater sacrifices who are feeling the same way. Collectively Bernie’s supporters are feeling this. We know that we must go out and volunteer and donate our money and make this happen again, just like we did in 2016. But how can we, now that we know what we know?

We know that there is no room for democracy in the “Democratic” party.

berniecrying

“A house divided cannot stand.” they say, and ours is split right down the middle. While Sanders supporters see themselves as victims of the party, party loyalists point their fingers at us, blaming us for the rise of fascism in America and the fallout of the 2016 election. And while both sides blame each other, The Right remains united as always, rallying around antiquated notions, believing they can actually turn back the clock and Make America White Again.

As much as I know that I MUST achieve an even higher level of political activism this time around, I struggle. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that it’s a lot easier to get excited about a message of hope and prosperity than it is to get excited about fighting evil.

Of course there are those who have fallen victim to the “Democratic” party’s propaganda and believe that Sanders is a sellout because he refused to call out the party for it’s rampant cheating in the 2016 election. These people don’t just lack excitement about Sanders’ candidacy, they are downright furious at him, feeling betrayed by his refusal to break off from the party. Their ignorance and vitriol contaminates the movement and further splinters it into factions. This very loud and extremely vocal minority is The Left’s equivalent of the alt-right. They are the kind of people who vote for Jill Stein and then think of themselves as revolutionaries, instead of seeing themselves for what they truly are, a distraction to a once-great movement. If you look closely at a Jill Stein supporter and a Donald Trump supporter, you will see there are far more similarities than differences. Both are convinced of their superiority. They think everyone who disagrees with them is stupid. And they are incredibly misinformed about how our government works and what their candidates true motivations are. Even though I struggle to find my motivation this time around, I am, at least, grateful that I have not disappeared into complete obscurity and self-defeating rage engulfing those who have completely turned against Sanders.

stein

So it’s not the same this time. We already know that the “Democratic” party will not give us a fair chance to play the game. We already know that we can donate every last penny we have and knock on every last door in America and they will cheat us out of the presidency. This time around, sadly, we know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the game is rigged.

But there’s something that we might have missed…

As I listen to the plethora of other “Democratic” candidates in 2020, it’s kind of funny, because they are all saying basically the same things that Bernie was saying in 2016. Bernie’s message was so incredibly powerful that all of the other candidates have adopted it. This is literally the definition of progress and as Progressives this is literally more than we could have dreamed of. THEY are actually speaking OUR views and policies and that is no small victory. That is something WE made happen by screaming our message from every rooftop in America. That is something that Bernie made happen by giving the same damned speech every day for forty years.

So yeah, it’s not the same, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be absolutely phenomenal. People with PTSD have to be ten times as brave just to do simple things that other people take for granted. So those of us with election PTSD must do the same. We must be ten times as brave as we were in 2016 and shout our message ten times as loud.

Maybe this time, facing the very real possibility of four more years of White Supremacist leadership, enough people in power will actually listen and we can get Bernie Sanders elected President of the United States.

I don’t know, but I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t try.

After all, the fate of the world is hanging in the balance.

MikeInBernieGear
My name is Michael E Sparks and I am a volunteer and freelance writer. If my writing has value for you, please consider donating $1 by clicking HERE. Thank you and keep being AWESOME!!

 

 

Me Too, Time’s Up and Toy Story 4

(Warning: This article contains spoilers for Toy Story 4)

Yesterday I took my kids to see Toy Story 4 and there was a particular scene that had my wheels turning after the viewing.

Woody, in his attempts to deal with his newfound obsolescence, had been taken hostage by Pixar’s version of an antique Chatty Cathy doll named Gabby Gabby. Gabby had spent her entire life being overlooked due to the fact that she was created with a broken voice-box. Woody on the other hand, despite being created nearly 70 years prior, had a voice box and pull-string in perfect working order.

“There’s a snake in my boot!!”, “Reach for the sky!!” and “You’re my favorite deputy!!” were all just a string-pull away. Woody had a voice. It’s no wonder he had always been able to find someone to love him.

departing

Considering the sexual harassment charges that have been levied at former Pixar CEO, John Lasseter, it’s tough not to see the relationship between Gabby Gabby and Woody as anything but a veiled apology from Pixar and a much needed one. “Somebody’s poisoned the waterhole!!” at Pixar and Pixar was right to fire John Lasseter. Let’s just get that out of the way before we get started.

I also want to note that I am male and I understand that there is a lot of anger at men in our current culture. I understand that millions of men who came before me have committed heinous atrocities against women and therefore there will be some people who will dismiss any viewpoints I have that attempt to defend men as being mansplaining and moreover a defense of rape culture. Or as one woman told me on a feminist forum I commented on recently

“You’re a man so no one here gives a f*(k what you think!!!”

woodyhands

As there is nothing I can do about the generations of rapist assholes who have brought shame on the male sex and nothing I am willing to do to change my gender, I feel it is my duty to be a good man. The world really seems to need more of those.

What’s had my wheel’s turning regarding Pixar’s choice to allow Woody’s voice-box to be taken from him so that Gabby might finally have a voice is that this otherwise simple movie conflict begs the question

“Do men really have to lose their voice so that women can finally have theirs?”

woodyfreaked

On the surface this doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. Who among us doesn’t wish we could stuff a sock in Donald Trump’s disgusting mouth or the mouth’s of some of his more vocal followers? America has a very real problem with toxic masculinity. But I believe telling men to sit down and shut up is a less-than effective strategy for bringing about the changes, we, as an enlightened people, are actually seeking.

I would love to have seen Woody, instead, help Gabby to find a way to repair her voice-box. I’m confident that this was discussed in the Pixar writing room and more than likely dismissed as being too close to Tarzan saves Jane scenario, which we can all agree that our zeitgeist has far too many of these weak-woman needs a man stories. But still, I don’t want Woody to lose his voice, nor do I want males, as a whole, to lose theirs. Men don’t need to lose their voices. They need to change what they are saying and even more so, how they are thinking. And this will never be accomplished by shaming men into silence.

Men do not need to be quiet, but rather quieter. They do not need to sit down and shut up, but rather they need to stand up and fight for equality for all women. And if a man has a thought that is sexist, I would like to hear that thought, because it is only with knowledge of antiquated thinking can we begin to address the systemic problems present in male society that make males, almost exclusively, the perpetrators of violent crime.

buzzagro

Men do not need to lose their voice-boxes, but they do need to listen, because right now there are a lot of women finding their own voice-boxes and they have important, tragic, beautiful, amazing, heart-wrenching, horrifying, enlightening things to say.

Silencing men only leads to resentment and locker room conversations where women are degraded and laughed at. When a man says something degrading about a woman, I want there to be another man there, with a firm, confident voice, to compassionately educate about how these disgusting attitudes hurt all women and by extension all people.

Because that’s how you change the world.

I don’t want Woody to lose his voice.

I just want Gabby to find hers.

 

me
My name is Michael E Sparks and I write what I see and feel. If my writing adds value to your life please consider donating a $1 (or more) by clicking HERE. Thank you for reading my writing. 🙂

“But Obama Did It First” – The Truth About Trump’s Immigration Policy vs Obama’s Immigration Policy

One of the more frustrating aspects of Donald Trump’s recent fascist maneuver of trying to hold 3700 migrant children for ransom so he can manipulate Congress into giving him money to build his ridiculous wall, is the inane conversations that continually erupt on social media where white-entitlement combines with The Dunning-Kruger Effect and statements such as

“They shouldn’t have come here illegally and this wouldn’t have happened.”

and

“Why weren’t you complaining when Obama was doing the same thing?”

are spewed forth ad nauseum by the informationally-impaired eager to regurgitate some alt-right propaganda they have mistaken for news.

Donald Trump “loves the poorly educated.” And they love him too.

In fact some of them will even defend him when he puts children in concentration camps.

migrantchildren

I am discouraged by this America. It does not look like the America I fell in love with. I was lead to believe that this was a country of immigrants, where a family could escape destitution and work hard to provide a life for their loved ones. This was a luxury afforded my ancestors, but apparently has been rescinded for my generation. Who knew that “give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” had an expiration date. I never thought America was about separating families. This doesn’t feel like America. This feels like something else.

As it turns out there is a price to be paid for funneling 200 channels of reality TV into American homes while our education system simultaneously falls behind the rest of the developed world. Decades of Fox News propaganda consumed by brain-dead zombies fueled by chemical laden processed food has created a form of super-mutant that is impervious to facts and incapable of critical thinking.

George Orwell was right.

He just missed it by a couple of decades.

migrantchildren2

Still there are those Americans who justify this atrocity by repeatedly uttering

“Oh, but it was okay when Obama did it!?”

First off, no, it was “not okay when Obama did it.” Believe it or not, opposing Trump does not mean that one automatically sides with Obama. Your black and white thinking on this matter exposes some things about your character. It is entirely possible to oppose Trump’s immigration policy while previously having opposed Obama’s immigration policy.

These two things are not connected.

If a man cheats on his wife he cannot use the defense that her last husband also cheated on her. This is simply not a logical argument and will not make the wife feel any better. While I am aware that this failed argument is designed to point out the hypocrisy and identity politics that plague The Left, this straw man argument detracts attention away from the fact that right now, in real time, the President of the United States is holding children hostage and using them as a bargaining chip to build a wall simply to appease his base, because he knows that without the wall he stands zero chance at reelection.

The statement “Well Obama did it first.” and all it’s variants is logically flawed on every level. If Obama actually did take similar actions then why would you support the mimicking of the actions of a man you are so steadfastly against? If “Obama destroyed America” then why applaud Trump for copying his playbook? Oh, but we aren’t big on logic, are we? This is what happens when Americans isolate themselves inside of a social media echo-chamber. This is a danger we never predicted. Social media was supposed to bring us together. But politically it is tearing us apart.

crying

Let’s examine the facts on Obama’s deportation policy vs Trump’s. Part of the Trump administration’s strategy is to simply tell lies about the previous administration, so it is understandable that you will have people believing that Trump is simply doing what Obama did. After all, this is what the administration and Fox News is telling them. But the facts of the matter are that Obama did not employ the practice of separating children and parents. It simply was not part of his immigration strategy. I am aware that there are people on the internet who post pictures of children in cages and say that this happened on Obama’s watch but it simply did not and there are no records of it happening in this manner. For all my criticisms of Barack Obama, he did not put children in concentration camps.

“But Obama’s nickname was Deporter in Chief. He deported more people than any president in history.”

This statement is both true and false. A simple understanding of recent historical events will elucidate the confusion behind this common fallacy. Obama inherited a new immigration policy implemented during the last year of the Bush administration. Prior to this policy change, migrants caught entering the country illegally were simply returned to border as part of a “catch and release” program that saved the government time, money and paperwork. The new Bush era policy commanded that all illegal migrants be arrested, fingerprinted and processed, before being released back at the border.

In other words, Obama’s administration was the first full administration to keep records of these events in this manner. The previous administration’s numbers had been artificially deflated. Obama actually deported fewer people than the Bush and Clinton administrations before him. Not because Obama was such a good liberal. The deportations numbers were down simply because living conditions had improved in Mexico while simultaneously deteriorating in the US.

There just aren’t as many opportunities in America as there used to be.

MikeInBernieGear
Michael E Sparks is an Independent journalist who works on a strictly volunteer basis. If his work ads value to your life please consider donating $1 by clicking HERE. Thank you and please share this article.

 

Donald Trump – President for Life

A few days ago Donald Trump made a comment about wanting to be “president for life” and a chill went through me. I had recently said to a friend that Bernie Sanders would be running as a Democrat in 2020 and that he would easily defeat Trump (just as he would have in 2016 without the shenanigans of the “Democratic” Party.) But I quickly added “But I do not think Trump will step down so easily.”

My friend queried me as to what I meant and I explained to him that I felt that Trump admired dictators and had zero respect for the peaceful transfer of power. I told him that I suspect that in 2020 Bernie Sanders will win and Trump will contest the election results and go crazy in the press accusing Socialists of having rigged the election and will use Twitter to rile up his base to civil war and potentially there could be millions of lives lost. I told my friend that I believed that Trump’s goal was to weaken the country’s already weak faith in the press so that he could declare the election results a media lie.

I explained to my friend how Wikileaks had already told Trump to contest the election if he had lost to Hillary Clinton and how their ultimate goal was to destabilize our democracy and to push our country towards and an alt-right fascist agenda. I explained to him how this same movement had succeeded in forcing Brexit and how hackers attempted to sway the French election towards alt-right fascist Marine Le Pen.

“Dude this sounds like the Twilight Zone.” my friend said.

“You’re living in the Twilight Zone.” I assured him.

Dictator-Trump-1

We do not know if Trump was planning on following Wikileaks suggestion to contest the election, because the Democrats chose to run a pathetic candidate, allowing Trump to backdoor his way into power. But it appears that he was actually planning to contest, due to the fact that he suggested that “the Second Amendment people” could take matters into their own hands if he were to lose to Hillary Clinton.

Why would anyone be shocked if Trump pulled such shenanigans in 2020? From day one his entire presidency has been about disrespecting the very foundations of our country. This is how dictators take over. They stretch the very fabric of the country until it gives way. Trump’s constant attacks on the most vulnerable members of our society erode the foundation of what makes America great. The Trump regime has had this country in constant constitutional crisis since its first day in office and this is not by accident.

Nazi Germany did not happen overnight. It was a progression in the midst of desperate times. Hitler declared himself leader and already had a standing army of civilians ready to do his bidding. Does Trump not already have the same standing army at his disposal with the millions of heavily-armed supporters who are just waiting for the word to act on their patriotic duty? This is a very real possibility. Who will protect you from a heavily armed militia of alt-right rednecks going house to house and rounding up Socialists? The police? Not a chance. Cops love Donald Trump.

Donald Trump Addresses Members Of Law Enforcement On Long Island

Trump’s presidency is a shock event to this country and the very institutions that hold it together. When Trump loses in 2020, I do not expect that he will have any respect for the peaceful exchange of power. I believe he will seek to rally his base to start a civil war in America and Americans will have to choose rather they have the temerity and weaponry to forcibly remove a dictator from the White House.

And you thought revolution only happened on your television.

MikeInBernieGear
Michael E Sparks will be one of the first people rounded up and put into Emperor Trump’s work camps. He is an Independent journalist and has zero corporate sponsors. If his work has value to you, please consider supporting it by donating $1 HERE or by buying his book HERE.

FREE Copy of My Bernie Journey Book

Hey Progressives!!

I wanted to take a moment and tell you about an exciting new book I wrote that exposes corruption inside the “Democratic” Party in a way that no other book has the guts to tackle. My Bernie Journey – An Inside Look at the 2016 “Democratic” Primary Through the Eyes of a Bernie Sanders Volunteer is the result of two years of intense hard work and hands on research.

The first thing that makes this book special is that I was actually in the trenches, traveling from state to state, knocking on doors, attending meetings and rallies and chronicling the insane corruption that I witnessed first hand.

There is an entire chapter of this amazing book just dedicated to ELECTORAL FRAUD inside the “Democratic” Party.

There is also an entire chapter where I went BACK ON THE ROAD interviewing the people who took Bernie Sanders’ message to heart and actually took steps to take over their local government.

But this book is about SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!!

It’s also a personal story of how Bernie Sanders saved my son’s life and an epic story that talks about how we were labeled as terrorists and teargassed by helicopters in the streets of Philadelphia when we went there to protest the corruption of the DNC.

This book is fire in your hands and I personally guarantee that anyone who picks it up will be absolutely unable to put it down.

In short, I wrote the book that I kept waiting for someone else to write.

I wrote the book that blows the lid off the entire rigged “Democratic” primary, while interweaving a personal story of inspiration that will get you fired up to take your activism to the next level.

Or as my former Hillary supporting friend put it:

“I never realized the depths of the depravity engaged in by the DNC in 2016 and now that I have eyes for it, I see this corruption continuing in every move they make. Michael’s book made me cry, but it also made me angry and it inspired me to take action. I had friends who worked really hard for Bernie. Honestly, at the time, I thought they were kind of crazy. If I knew then what I know now, I would have been out there knocking on doors with them.”

And THAT IS WHY I feel this book is important.

People need to know OUR story.

They need to know exactly what happened from someone who was actually part of it.

Going forward into the 2018 midterms and on into the 2020 presidential election, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!!

The first step to stopping it from ever happening again is to educate EVERYONE on how it went down in the first place.

I sincerely believe that My Bernie Journey does this in a way that is so fun and exciting that you could give it to the Trump or Hillary supporter in your life and they will come away with a new perspective.

Every Sanders supporter will want to read this.

And everyone who is not a Sanders supporter WILL BE by the time they put it down.

I really feel that strongly about it.

Here is a video where I talk about what’s inside the book in greater detail.

If you are in a hurry to order the book, you can skip the video, scroll down right under the video and order your FREE electronic copy (the E-Book can be read on your computer, phone or tablet) or if you want an autographed physical copy delivered to your door you can order that as well.

Thank you for believing in my work.

This book has been the hardest and most rewarding artistic endeavor of my life.

DO I EVEN NEED TO TELL YOU THAT THIS BOOK IS THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS BOOK FOR ANY BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER OR MAYBE AN EVEN BETTER GIFT TO GIVE TO THAT FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER WHO LOVES HILLARY CLINTON??or maybe nothing can wake those people up – I’m not really sure)

Scroll past the video to order or watch the video if you need more details.

How to Get the Book

To get your FREE E-Book copy of My Bernie Journey simply send an email with My Bernie Journey in the title to GoBernieGoBernieGo@gmail.com

If you want an autographed physical copy sent to your door, along with the second book The Independent Thinker Chronicles (included for free) then send $27 through PayPal by clicking HERE (Be sure to put your shipping address in the notes section)

If you don’t like PayPal you can pay through Square or with a check or money order by clicking HERE.

If you don’t like any of those methods you can order through Amazon by clicking HERE (I urge you not to buy through Amazon as they represent the very corporate entities which we are standing up to!!)

I suppose you could even follow me by clicking HERE and pay through Facebook messenger (did you even know that you could send money through Facebook messenger? I didn’t either until recently.)

Also feel free to DONATE a copy of the book to a random person.

What this means is that if you already have a copy and want to get one for someone who can’t afford one right now, just write “Pay it forward” in the notes line and I’ll write Donated by (Your Name) and donate the book to a library, school or individual who has limited funds.

Consider it a nice way to give the gift of Political Revolution to a stranger.

Anyway, I hope you love the book regardless of rather you pay for it or get the free copy.

It’s your book.

I’m just the guy who wrote everything down.

bernieteering

Welcome to America

A poem by Michael E Sparks in the style of Charles Bukowski

 
Welcome to America, where we rely on Russian hackers to free our news and corporate media outlets to cover it up.
 
Welcome to America..
 
Land of the free trade agreements…
 
Home of the slaves.
 
Welcome to America, where you are more likely to be killed by an angry white man with an AR-15, than you are to be represented by those whom you vote for.
 
While you are here be sure to visit Cleveland, Detroit and Flint and send a letter to Bill Clinton, thanking him for NAFTA.
 
Welcome to America, where the water is full of lead and the air is toxic.
 
Welcome to America, where our politicians get paid millions to tell us that scientists are liars.
 
Be sure to visit our lovely coasts, before they fall into the ocean.
 
Don’t bother with the zoo.
 
America is the zoo.
 
Welcome to America, where the citizens are dangerous and the cops serve death sentences to unarmed black people.
 
Welcome to America, where “patriots” drive huge trucks dependent on foreign oil.
 
Welcome to America, where we bomb people in the name of democracy..
 
When we do not even have democracy ourselves.
 
Welcome to America.
 
Kick back and watch your tax dollars at work on a 72″ high-definition screen.
 
Watch us bomb for democracy.
 
Watch us kill for democracy.
 
Welcome to the evil empire.
 
Welcome to Imperialism.
 
Welcome to for-profit prisons, where billionaires pass laws, so they can incarcerate poor people and spin propaganda over the airwaves that convince you to be afraid of your fellow-humans.
 
Welcome to the New World Order, where we have 662 bases in 38 foreign countries and you break your back 70 hours per week to pay for it.
 
Welcome to semi-automatic open-carry.
 
Welcome to tyrannical government, where reality TV star NAZIS run for president (AND WIN!!!)
 
Welcome to America, where we bomb innocent people, then close our doors to their refugees.
 
Welcome to America.
 
Wear Kevlar.