The Time We Almost Hacked the U.S. Presidential Election

Hello fellow revolutionaries!!

This is the final leaked chapter from my book, My Bernie Journey – A Behind the Scenes Look at the 2016 “Democratic” Primary

My goal was to release the book on August 28, but while struggling to finish the final chapter, I decided to go out on the road and interview 30 people in 24 cities and ask them some fundamental questions about where our movement was going and what I should include in the book before it goes to press.

I got to interview amazing Progressives like Tim Canova and Sam Ronan. I also got to interview hardcore activists like Amos Miers and Peter Campbell. All of these videos will be up on the Activist Media YouTube channel in the coming weeks, so please click the Tim Canova link above and subscribe to our new channel. We have some incredibly exciting video projects coming up, one of which may even have an effect on Bernie Sanders’ decision to run for president in 2020.

For those of you who have helped bring the book to press, THANK YOU!!!

If you like what you read in this leaked chapter, consider joining The 27 Buck Club by clicking HERE. Anyone who donates $27 will not only get their name inside the book as being one of the people who helped bring the book to press, but you will also receive a secondary compilation of articles called The Independent Thinker Chronicles. Physical copies of the books will be sent to your home upon their October release.

If you cannot afford to donate, that’s cool. Money is tight for most of us in this economy that is eroding our middle-class. I got you covered either way. Just send me an email GoBernieGoBernieGo@gmail.com and I’ll make sure you get a digital copy sent out for FREE!!

Without further ado, here’s the final leaked chapter!!

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Shy Ridley passing out fliers for the Vermont Bernie Sanders write-in campaign at the Take Back Democracy March. Photo by Melaine Oringer.

 

Chapter 18 – The Vermont Bernie Sanders Write-In

In which the author proves his absolute insanity by trying to hack into an exploit in the United States presidential race at the risk of pissing off the very person he is trying to help

Bernie had been very clear about the plan. We all vote for Hillary and then Bernie would use the leveraging power of millions of die-hard supporters to push Clinton to endorse Progressive policies. The plan was simple enough. The problem was that this plan involved Hillary Clinton becoming president and that just seemed too much to bear for people like myself who had given everything to Sanders’ campaign. There had to be a better way.

Many noted that Hillary seemed ill. “Perhaps she will die.” people would say, but then because they were good liberals they would add “Not that I would ever wish death on anyone.” There was also a looming indictment, but none of us really believed that the courts could touch someone so powerful. But there had to be a way. Looking back now I accept that I was simply in denial. But I kept looking. “There has to be a way.” Carrie would catch me saying aloud while I tore through article after article.

Then one day, while traveling, I pulled over to get coffee. While standing in line, reading The Inquisitr, I stumbled across an article by Dawn Papple called Could Just Thousands In Wyoming or Vermont Hold the Key to a Surprise Bernie Sanders Presidency? The article spoke of a ludicrous idea that people had been discussing on Twitter. In a nutshell, the idea was that we could focus in on seven states that allow write-in voting and canvass those states, Sanders could win those states, depriving Trump and Clinton of the 270 electoral votes needed to attain the presidency. This would force the House of Representatives to choose the President, as is the law. In short, there would be a slim chance of a Sanders presidency.

One who is informed on political matters would quickly note that The House was controlled by Republicans and therefore Trump would be the obvious choice between Sanders, Clinton and Trump. This was more than likely true, but my counterpoint was that establishment Republicans hated Trump and that there was a slim chance that some may step out on both sides of the aisle to support Sanders, especially after the Democrats had blackballed him in the primary. Granted this was a Hail Mary, but when that’s all you got, you throw it deep and hope for a miracle.

To Dawn’s credit, she kept her sanity and journalistic integrity. She wrote the article with a whimsical “wouldn’t it be nice” folly. I, on the other hand, being completely desperate and insane, took the words far too seriously and began to research. I started calling into the seven states asking them about their write-in laws. I began reading obscure passages in each state’s law, getting stuck and making phone calls and asking odd questions that no one knew the answers to. I would get referred to someone who had spent their entire life studying voter law, who probably hadn’t been asked a question in twenty years. These people would be so grateful for my query that they would want to talk forever, discussing the finer points of said law and its origins. I did not have that kind of time. “Thanks!! Gotta go!!” I’d say, hanging up and heading off to the next challenge. My desk was a mess of printouts and sketches. I felt like a mad scientist who had discovered time travel and only needed a single equation to bring the whole thing together. Sleep became a distant memory. I researched and researched and researched until it was all very clear.

OH MY GOD!!! WE CAN DO THIS!!!

I’ve spent my entire life intentionally pursuing delusion. I’m not insane. I get it. I know how things work. I know statistical probabilities. But I also know that all great things are done by people who decide to do something that everyone around them thinks is completely crazy. After all, my hero is a man from Vermont who decided to run against the Clinton empire when it had already been preordained that Hillary Clinton was going to be the candidate. Bernie knew that the deck was stacked against him. He ran anyway. And now I’m sitting here writing this book and your life, just like mine, has been forever changed by him making this completely irrational decision.

When I started the Vermont Bernie Sanders Write-In Campaign someone said “This has a one in a million chance of succeeding.”

I replied “The odds of success are actually much lower, but the chances of Sanders becoming president if we don’t try this is actually zero in a million.”

So I got to work. The first thing I did was to write an article about it. I needed every volunteer I could get so I wrote an article that explained every aspect of how the plan would work. I wrote it in a question and answer style that was fairly easy to understand. Sanders’ supporters are generally pretty intelligent and this was necessary as I was attempting to explain a loophole in our electoral process and most Americans have no idea how that process even works. I didn’t either when I started the movement. People think that I’m some sort of expert on politics. Honestly, I don’t know a damned thing. I just have a burning desire for The Truth, so I read a million articles on every subject I’m passionate about. I don’t seek out articles that reinforce what I believe. I am not lured in by this appeal to my ego, nor am I seduced by extreme opinions on an issue. I seek only the illusive reality that can be found only when one is able to anesthetize their confirmation bias and enjoy the pleasant feeling of accepting that they had been previously wrong. For much of humanity’s time here on Earth, those in power kept the serfs ignorant as a means of control. Now, for this brief time in history, we have access to the entire wealth of human knowledge, yet the serfs keep themselves ignorant by diving into toxic rabbit-holes filled with rhetoric and hyperbole. It’s very sad. I suspect if you are reading this, you are as frustrated with this trend as I am.

The article exploded. Its blatant insanity inspired people to action. My email box was overflowing. I simply could not keep up. I live my life by a saying, “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” The first mighty force that came to my aid was Shannon Blosser-Salisbury. She became my assistant and quickly recruited others to assist her and just like that, before I knew what was happening, the Vermont Bernie Sanders Write-In Campaign was off and running.

I made several attempts to get phone lists for Vermont so that we would be able to phone-bank into the state. Everyone I asked for assistance with this project told me that I was insane, that only legitimate political campaigns had access to this information and that I was wasting my time trying. This information seemed to be accurate. I was making zero headway and time was the one thing we did not have as we had started our desperate campaign just six weeks before the general election. Finally Shannon had the idea that we would simply call through the Vermont phone-book. I wrote out a script and began training phone-bankers and then heroically, Terje Oseberg came in with the actual phone-bank info for every single person in Vermont!! He even used his own money to pay for it!! Mighty forces were coming to my aid so fast that my head was spinning!!

I had done the math and knew that we needed to convert one out of every four voters that we spoke with. Expecting this kind of result in normal phone-banking is just delusional, but we were calling into Bernie’s backyard. The people of Vermont absolutely love Bernie Sanders. The key was having an effective script. Explaining a plan to usurp the United States general election in just a few seconds in a way that sounded fun and was easy to understand was one of my greatest writing challenges to date. I must have nailed it because we were converting 75% of voters!! Even though we were angry revolutionaries who wanted to right a great wrong perpetrated by the Democratic Party, I knew that the people of Vermont would not want to hear anything like that. Instead we framed it as a “celebration of Sanders lifetime of service to the people of Vermont.”

The people of Vermont loved our idea and most everyone hung up the phone saying that they would write in Sanders name on their ballot. The problem we were running into was that we had to call 625,000 people and we only had about 20 people volunteering to phone-bank. This was incredibly frustrating. I knew that I had built a successful model, but as determined as our volunteers were, we just didn’t have the bodies to make this work. It was at this point that I promised myself that I would build a political organization that was able to generate enough funds to support worthwhile projects in the future. Had I been financially prepared for this opportunity, I could have hired a bunch of kids who needed jobs, paid them $15 an hour, rented a call-center and flooded Vermont. I can tell you with extreme certainty that Bernie Sanders would have won Vermont if only I had had the money to pour into this project. Our phone-bankers were amazing, but we just didn’t have enough of them.

I called every major newspaper in Vermont. My goal was to run full page ads alerting the population of Vermont to our plan, but I simply could not afford it. To run these ads for six weeks would have been about $20,000. I was too proud to crowdfund the project. I was used to paying for everything myself. In retrospect I was just being selfish, letting my pride get in the way like that. I should have open the conduit and let others pool their resources. We would have won Vermont if we could have raised $40,000 dollars. Of course, we know now that it wouldn’t have made any difference. In order for our plan to work, Trump and Hillary would have had to be incredibly close in the electoral college. It wasn’t close at all. Trump won the electoral college handily. Still our movement taught me a lot and I realized that in order to get anything done in politics, great ideas and determination were a great starting point, but in reality, money is required.

For such a small group, we made a lot of noise. We even had people travel to Vermont to canvass. One family came all the way across the country from Colorado, with two small children, and were greeted with smiling faces at nearly every door they knocked on. Vermont resident Claudia Pringles did the same in her own backyard. All reports were that the residents of Vermont were incredibly receptive to our initiative. Phish drummer, Jon Fishman, even wrote an open letter to Vermont residents encouraging them to write-in Bernie Sanders. Before we knew it, Vermont news stations were covering our movement and The Washington Post contacted me and asked me to do an interview on what we were doing. A similar movement even popped up in Utah, as upstart Evan McMullin decided to throw his name in the electoral college lottery by trying to win that state. Another movement, OpDeny270, sprung up to focus on the other six write-in states. It was abundantly clear that the people were not happy with the “choice” between Clinton and Trump and would grasp at any and all attempts to be able to vote for an honest candidate who represented The People.

Just when I thought my Bernie Journey was over, I found myself planning a trip to Vermont to canvass, one last time, for this great man. I scraped together a few hundred dollars and told Carrie and the kids that I was headed off to knock on doors. They had dealt with me darting off to different cities so many times at this point that they didn’t even bat an eye.

But I was scared. One thing that I had been incredibly concerned about during the entire process was the fact that I was trying to get Bernie Sanders elected president, even though he had already stated very clearly that he was endorsing Hillary Clinton. I knew that if we contacted him directly about our movement that he would be forced to denounce it, as per his agreement with the Democratic Party, so basically my goal was to keep it hidden from Bernie until we had already canvassed all 600,000 Vermont residents. In the back of my mind this always nagged at me. What if Bernie didn’t want to be the president any longer? What if he was just exhausted and relieved that he didn’t have to take the job? Would Bernie be angry at me when he learned that I was going against what he had asked me to do? Was I deceiving Bernie Sanders with all my hard work?

In addition to keeping our movement a secret from Bernie, we also needed to keep it a secret from the Democratic Party, who had become well-known for using underhanded tactics against anyone who became a threat to their agenda. Vermont was an easy win for Clinton. What would they try to do to us if they found out we were trying to steal electoral votes from her? As it turned out, we did have a political campaign attack and sabotage us, but it wasn’t the Clinton’s.

I had to get a few things lined up on the home-front before I could head out. It would be two weeks before I could touch down in Vermont. I put out an advertisement looking for a canvassing coordinator to train incoming volunteers until I could get there. This is where the wheels came off the entire operation.

The most qualified applicant was a woman named Lisa (changing her name to protect her). Lisa was not only an experienced canvasser for Bernie Sanders, but had even been canvassing for Jill Stein after Bernie was cheated in the primary. Lisa said that she lived close to the Sanders’ residence and that in Vermont, Bernie and Jane were just normal people. She added that she remembered swimming in their pool when she was a little kid. In retrospect, I should have realized that this was too good to be true, but remember, I was desperate for help and as a result I was really susceptible to believing what I wanted to believe. I forgot to anesthetize my confirmation bias and it cost me dearly. Hiring Lisa proved to be a complete fiasco.

Lisa was supposed to go to college campuses to explain our initiative and recruit canvassers, but instead each day she would tell me about how busy she had been dealing with kids, work, etc.. While I certainly understood how life can place incredible demands on us, I still reminded her that we had to get our canvassers on the ground immediately. She agreed each time and then the following day came at me with a variation on the same excuses. When I told her that I would need to hire a different canvassing coordinator, Lisa told me that her busy schedule wasn’t the real reason why she had been dragging her feet. Lisa told me that the real reason was that she felt like she was betraying her lifetime friends, Bernie and Jane Sanders.

I had to do some deep soul-searching. In my desire to see Sanders elected president I had not only started a major movement behind his back, but now I was asking his friends and neighbors to keep a secret from him. I messaged Lisa back and told her that if Bernie knows then he will have to denounce the movement or risk his position with the Democratic Party. I asked her if she would be willing to compromise and ask Jane Sanders. Lisa agreed and I waited on pins and needles for the entire day. The following morning Lisa messaged me and told me that Jane was incredibly moved by what we were trying to do, but that she wanted us to stop it. Jane said that Bernie didn’t want to be president and pleaded with us to stop doing what we were doing and to “vote for someone who is actually on the ballot.”

I was devastated. I went to our volunteers and told them that I was walking away from the movement. To their credit they told me that they were going ahead without me. I loved them for that, but I simply could not bring myself to force something on Bernie that he didn’t even want. I felt so sick and foolish. I contacted The Washington Post and told them that I was canceling my trip to Vermont. That night I wrote an addendum to the article that had started our movement that simply said that Jane Sanders had asked us to stop and that I would no longer support a movement that went against the wishes of the person it was intending to honor.

The following morning I awoke to chaos. Someone had shown my article to Jane Sanders and Jane had tweeted that my article was a lie. Jane said that no such conversation with Lisa had ever taken place and that she would never advise someone to not vote for Bernie. Also someone sent me a video of Bernie Sanders being asked about our movement and Bernie laughed and said something to the effect that it would probably be okay due to the fact that Vermont only had three electoral votes.

This was incredibly scary. Bernie and Jane knew about our movement and had both given it a pseudo-endorsement. On the other hand, I had spread misinformation about the Jane Sanders. I immediately went into damage control mode. I released a statement saying that the write-in initiative was still in effect and apologized for the confusion I had caused, even though I still really had no idea what was going on.

Sifting through thousands of messages I found a series of screen shots from a conversation that Lisa had had with someone who worked very closely with Jill Stein. I’m not going to say this person’s name either, but the gist of the conversation was that Lisa was supposed to infiltrate our group and convince us to stop our initiative. It turns out that Lisa was telling the truth about one thing. She was a huge fan of Jill Stein. Apparently some of Jill’s loyalists had come up with the naive notion that our progress in Vermont was somehow threatening Jill’s chances of attaining 5% of the nationwide vote. At 5% The Green Party would qualify for federal funding in the next presidential election cycle. Some people, close to Jill Stein, had decided that we were a threat to their federal funding and hatched a plan to sabotage our campaign. If this sounds ridiculous it’s because it absolutely is. Jill Stein was not a serious candidate in the state of Vermont or any other state for that matter, so I have no idea why her people would think that 175,000 votes (our target goal) would affect her either way. While I don’t hold Jill personally responsible for the sabotaging efforts against our campaign, it is hard to believe that she didn’t know about what was happening, considering her proximity to the person who initiated the sabotage.

In the end we didn’t win, but I took some personal satisfaction in the fact that we managed to get more people to write-in Bernie Sanders than all those who voted for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson and the other two small-party candidates combined. Our campaign for a man who wasn’t even on the ballot managed to get three and a half times as many votes as the campaign that attempted to sabotage us.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish something. With a little more time and money, we would have accomplished our goal and Bernie Sanders would have been the first write-in candidate in American history to actually win a state. We were a lot closer to achieving this than most people realize.

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Michael E Sparks is a political activist, Independent writer and head of Activist Media. Michael believes strongly in keeping corporate influence out of his political voice. His work is funded completely by donations. If you believe in what he is doing consider donating by clicking HERE. Or more importantly, donate to Hurrican Harvey relief by clicking HERE.
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Berning Against the Machine (Kuh-wit It Now!!!)

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

Trump or Clinton? Hell No!!

poison

Americans are angry.

But not angry enough.

They should be in the streets shutting down corporate profits.

I have visions of semi-trucks parked across interstates and major cities occupied.

I have visions of the American government trying to figure out how to stop a determined populace that responds to injustice by standing united.

I have visions of corrupt politicians and bankers fleeing America, fearing prison.

I see, in my mind’s eye, a million people marching in unison, demanding justice.

But these visions are ripening on the vine.

We aren’t there yet.

Multinational corporations rig a “Democratic” election to appoint Hillary Clinton, who is nothing more than a figurehead for corporate profits and never-ending war…

People gather around the water cooler to complain.

Racist, white police-officers, sworn to protect and serve, MURDER unarmed black men..

Maybe we take a knee at a sporting event.

Our government poisons the water supply and the food.

Innocent children die.

But hey, football is on.

Americans have been domesticated.

We are afraid.

We are spoiled.

We are pacified.

Injustice has become entertainment.

We are too busy.

We are distracted.

trumpsigntear

As bad as all this is, when Donald Trump is President, things are going to get worse.

This is Germany 1933.

The police unions have endorsed Donald Trump.

We’ve seen what Trump thinks of protesters.

He encourages violence against them.

He touts the Second Amendment while oppressing the First.

In Trump’s America, protesters will be murdered and he will say..

“They’re disgusting. We’re trying to fix this country and these people hate it. They hate America. They got what was coming to them.”

His followers will cheer for blood in the streets.

Decades of America’s corporate greed and subsequent destruction of opportunity have led to a deep-seated desperation in our blue-collar workforce and Donald Trump has tapped into that.

Trump’s white supremacist supporters are stockpiling weapons, waiting for Martial Law, so they will have permission to kill blacks, gays, Hispanics and liberals.

They call themselves patriots.

Trump gives their movement license.

Trump fuels their fear.

Trump fills them with bravado.

“Make America Great Again” is the same code as “All Lives Matter”.

It is rhetoric that translates to “ban and bomb all Muslims.”

It is hyperbole that says “black people need to know their place.”

It is oration designed to stir the rage of people who were led to believe that it is their birthright to have superiority over others.

When Trump vomits forth hate-speech about deportation forces and punishing women who have abortions, he taps into an angry segment of our population and encourages it to creep out of the darkness.

When Trump makes fun of the handicapped, children on playgrounds follow suit.

When Trump points his tiny finger of blame, people are assaulted.

Trump is sounding the alarm to gather the forces and to round-up all those responsible for your pain and suffering.

He is the ruling-elite telling you to kill your neighbor, because they stole your crumbs.

He is fascism, come to America, wrapped in the flag.

He is paranoia personified.

Bernie Sanders was right when he said that we must do “everything in our power to stop Donald Trump.”

But you can’t ask us to vote for Hillary Clinton, Bernie.

That’s asking too much.

bernie-sanders-2

This was the “Democrats” election to lose.

They had two strong candidates and the GOP could not produce a decent opponent.

A year ago most liberals would have agreed that Bernie was the better candidate, but that Hillary was still better than Donald Trump.

But Hillary lied to us.

She took us for granted and she mocked us.

She insulted us and she stripped away our voting rights.

And she cheated.

She cheated in an American election against a good man.

She cheated the American people out of $238,000,000 (the amount that we donated to Bernie Sanders).

She cheated us out of our literal blood, sweat and tears, that we shed while working tirelessly, in an “election” that we never had a chance of winning.

We sacrificed far too much to just forgive and forget.

I remember telling my kids that we couldn’t afford to do certain things, because “Bernie needs our help.”

My children volunteered with me.

We went broke, driving anywhere we could to help canvas.

Speeding tickets, gas, damage to vehicle, oil changes and lost wages.

We spent the last several months trying to recover from these excursions and millions of Americans made the same sacrifices.

The “Democratic” Party’s mistreatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters painted us into a corner.

I am terrified by the looming specter of a Trump presidency, but still I cannot bring myself to support the embodiment of everything I have spent my life fighting against.

If you were just a casual Sanders supporter (was there any such thing?) then perhaps you could just pull your Sanders sign up and replace it with a Clinton sign.

But for those of us who gave our entire lives to this movement, it is not even a serious consideration.

Sorry Bernie, I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.

She simply does not deserve my vote.

Hillary and the DNC burned the bridges.

It is unreasonable to expect us to rebuild them.

Maybe if the “Democrats” lose an election that they could have easily won, then they will learn to listen to the people next time.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

A supporter of former Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wears tape across her mouth in protest on the floor at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Perhaps the protests I am looking for will not be held in the streets.

Perhaps the next great protest in the United States will be held in the voting booth, where millions of liberals, that Hillary Clinton took for granted, will stand up in the face of tyranny and choose to vote their conscience instead of caving into the fear that the “Democratic” Party is banking on.

Maybe there is finally enough anger on the left to motivate them to get off their asses and actually build a true third-party for the people.

Maybe liberals will finally start paying attention to down-ballot races and midterm elections and rejecting corporate candidates in favor of true Progressives.

Maybe people will finally learn that voting with their dollars is where the real power lies and they will abstain from buying from the corporations that destroyed our democracy.

When confronted with the “choice” between being shot in the face or poisoned to death, the intelligent choice is to choose neither.

When confronted with the “choice” between someone who threatens to use nuclear weapons or someone who claims to be so ignorant that they did not know that “C” stood for classified, the rational person chooses neither.

When confronted with the “choice” between someone who will appoint alt-right Supreme Court judges or someone who secretly supports TPP, a trade agreement that will put corporate tribunals in charge of our government, the compassionate person says “HELL NO!!!”

Enough lesser-evilism!!

Hillary Clinton is pulling a Band-Aid off slowly, whereas Donald Trump is ripping it off fast.

Either way, it’s going to hurt.

Vote for Jill Stein or write in Bernie Sanders.

In an insane election, these are the only sane choices.

Some will say that this is throwing your vote away.

Nonsense.

Throwing your vote away is when you vote for someone whom you don’t believe in.

Throwing your vote away is voting for Donald Trump, a hate-monger who’s been spending daddy’s money and filing bankruptcy and charging it to the American tax-payer, while telling the people who are footing his bill that their poverty is the fault of other poor people.

Throwing your vote away is voting for Hillary Clinton, a warmonger who rode her rapist husband’s coattails into politics by representing a state that she wasn’t even a resident of, while supporting fracking and taking millions from the fossil-fuel industry.

With either one of these fools, you are doing more than throwing your vote away.

You are throwing your planet away.

You are throwing your dignity away.

You are throwing innocent lives away.

Neither have any business stepping foot in the White House and I do not and will not recognize their authority.

If you are insulted by your corporate “choice” for President, I suggest you exercise your Constitutional right to open rebellion.

Join with me in pledging to fight whichever one of these criminals is unfortunate enough to take office.

Let’s commit to being real activists.

Let’s commit to taking back our government.

Let’s lose the battle and win the war.

Hillary or Trump?

I choose neither.

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If my voice is aligned with your voice, please consider donating $1 by clicking HERE. We are expanding our power by starting a YouTube show/Podcast that will be used to organize tremendous activism in line with the  Progressive philosophies of Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders. Any money donated goes directly to purchasing studio equipment to make that happen.

 

Jill and Bernie Sittin In a Tree D-E-M-E-X-I-T

jillandbernieHey everyone.

I’m going to do things differently today.

Instead of writing an article and being concerned with structure and pacing, etc…

I’m just going to ramble some thoughts on this whole mess of an election in 2016.

You know, like an actual blog..

First off, I miss Bernie.

A LOT!!

That’s a strange thing for me to say.

I mean, I never experienced anything like that.

I’m kind of cynical and I actually thought I had pretty much experienced everything that I was going to experience and would spend the remainder of my days repeating the things about life I enjoyed with some variation to keep it interesting.

But I didn’t know that I could get swept up like that.

I don’t know what to compare it to, because I never experienced anything remotely as beautiful or intense…

The feeling of being part of something that could really change the world.

The feeling of being on a team with millions of people.

The feeling of having the establishment actually scared of us.

I barely slept for a year and I didn’t need sleep.

Now we collectively go through this grieving process and it’s incredibly chaotic, because you’re in bargaining while I’m in anger and then you’re working on acceptance, while I’m in denial…

I wish I had answers for people, but I don’t know half the time.

I’m tired of being angry and I’m tired of being sad, but I don’t want to let those things go, because I fear that those are the only things left.

I’ve tried to impart my viewpoint on these matters, because I desire very deeply to help those I care about in the healing process.

Sometimes it helps.

Sometimes it just makes people angry.

And oh, just in case you stumbled in here and don’t know what I am referring to, I am talking to people who worked their asses off on the Bernie Sanders campaign and really believe in the ideals that he stands for.

Many are going through a sort of withdrawal.

If you weren’t part of it, then just stop reading.

There will be nothing that makes any sense to you in here.

jillrev

 

When I stood in the middle of FDR park, watching people crying all around me, as we watched our democracy raped on a movie screen, because the “Democratic” Party locked us out of the convention, while our guy was in there, biting his tongue and supporting someone who he knew was corrupt…

 

When I saw all those people crying, I just tried to breathe it in and let it do to me what it may.

And it changed me…

It intensified me.

I knew right at that moment that there was NO TURNING BACK!!!

Because millions of people put their blood, sweat and tears into this and we were treated very poorly.

We were mistreated by the “Democratic” Party.

I mean I don’t know what we expected…

Infecting their party like that.

We weren’t invited.

They had those rules in place for a reason, to keep out people like us.

In retrospect, I’m not sure why we expected to be treated fairly.

I guess it was the name that threw me.

I guess I thought Democrats would be democratic.

I used to be so naive.

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I attended the Indiana State Convention as a Democratic delegate.

It was an odd thing to wear that badge and represent their party, because at that point I was already extremely angry at the “Democratic” Party, yet I wanted to help Bernie, so I was doing the same exact thing that he did.

I was crashing the Party and trying to make some changes to it, because I recognized that there were millions of people who needed help and I recognized this corrupt political party as the best possible vehicle for it at this time.

I know there are lots of people on the Internet who love to post memes about how you can’t fix a broken party and Jill Stein has become fond of saying that, but it’s simply not true.

Almost anything broken can be fixed.

Bernie Sanders knew that.

That’s why he ran as a Democrat.

But there are so many repairs that need to be done.

This is going to take years.

But pretty much every American under the age of 25 voted for Bernie Sanders, so time is on our side.

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At every point of the process to becoming a county and then a state delegate, it was completely obvious to me that I was not part of their group.

They all had perfect hair and expensive suits and all in all were just way more put together than I am or would ever actually want to be.

I seriously cannot imagine looking that polished.

I am lucky to have socks that match.

But Bernie gave license to that.

He was running for President, looking like a mess.

I felt somehow excused for messy hair and the occasional spaghetti sauce stain.

We don’t have time to worry about our hair!!

We have a world to change!!

Anyway, the Democrats were very kind.

They humored me.

They showed me how to fill out the forms and all.

It was clear that we were a nuisance.

One they hoped would go away soon.

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I went to the convention here in Indiana.

This was literally THE LAST thing I wanted to do with my weekend.

It was like we didn’t even exist.

They had some insider’s club and all they talked about was Hillary Clinton.

They never even mentioned Bernie Sanders’ name.

I saw a girl with tattoos and piercings on her face.

“She must be one of us.” I thought.

I went and talked politics with her and her dominatrix friend.

We became fast friends.

A blind man came up and was trying to navigate through the chairs.

I got up to help him.

He was also a Bernie delegate.

It was the misfits that powered Bernie’s campaign.

It was people like us…

The Imperfects.

And there are more of us than there are of them.

But they cheated us..

And here we are.

Trying to sort all of this out.

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Jill Stein has become the denial phase of Bernie or Bust, a methadone to ween us off of the hero(ine) that is Bernie Sanders, but she is not heroin enough to save us.

I have actually been a Jill Stein fan for a number of years.

My girlfriend jokes with me about how she knows that I am in love with Jill Stein, but I’m actually still in love with Bernie Sanders.

I have Jill Stein stickers on my car and I’m going to vote for her.

Jill Stein is a wonderful revolutionary voice.

She’s by far the best candidate we have left and I think you should vote for her if you want to, but realize that you are voting for her in protest and in hopes of furthering the party’s name, not because she has a chance at winning.

And those are EXCELLENT reasons to vote for her.

America is desperately crying out for a third-party and ultimately I hope that one day the Green Party will be THAT party, but they aren’t ready right now, with just a few weeks left before the election.

“But if Jill could win, then we could defeat the establishment and…”

No. Sorry. That’s not realistic at all.

Even she has been saying that, when she says

“Sometimes you have to lose elections to build your power.”

She isn’t even trying to win.

She’s pretending to try to win, so she can rally people and increase the strength of her party and THAT IS SMART.

In fact, it’s good politics.

But she’s not actually competing in this election.

If she were, then she would have a ground game.

She has raised 1.9 million dollars.

Bernie Sanders raised 228 million dollars.

Jill Stein is running a PR campaign and right now that is EXACTLY what she should be doing to get her party into a position to compete seriously in 2020.

Green party candidate Jill Stein speaks at the Mercury Cafe in Denver, Colorado.

But if you think Bernie Sanders should have endorsed her, then you are missing out on the plan, that I believe even Jill Stein is in on (why do you think she came to Vermont to meet with Bernie before the Clinton endorsement?).

It would have been unwise for Bernie Sanders to endorse Jill Stein.

That would have been the worse thing he could have done.

That would have thrown away all the work that he did fighting the Democratic Platform Committee.

He got them to agree to things that they hated.

And you will make the argument that they are just lies and none of them will come to fruition, but you will be wrong!!

Because Bernie Sanders is the most powerful man in Washington now and he has their word on the platform and if we all vote smart in November, we will have Progressive control of the House and Senate and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE PLATFORMS WILL COME TO PASS!!!

That means we will have a national $12 per hour minimum wage.

That means we can overturn Citizen’s United.

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Bernie Sanders and his millions of followers went in and pulled a complete insurrection of the Democratic Party platform.

It is literally the greatest political coup in American history and he did it so subtly that no one noticed except for the Democratic establishment and he made it to where they could not even fight him, by the nature of how he appeared to play ball with them.

I used to have this karate instructor who told me to meditate on the phrase…

“The softest thing cannot be broken.”

I sat and repeated that to myself for years and never began to understand it.

Bernie Sanders taught me what that phrase means.

I wish Bernie would have pulled us all aside and said

“Psssst…here’s exactly what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.”

Then everyone would have supportive.

But he has to play the game and he played it at a master level.

Have faith.

The man has been fighting for you for fifty years and now suddenly he steers you wrong?

The man has so much integrity, that in the end, your criticisms actually expose more about you than they do about him.

And did you notice that all of the people close to Bernie ran over to Jill Stein and endorsed her, after Bernie endorsed Hillary?

Do you think maybe that this was BY DESIGN!!!

Do you think maybe that the plan was for Bernie to move the Democratic platform to the left in exchange for helping Hillary win in 2016, while those close to Bernie are supposed to help the rise of the Green Party simultaneously?

That’s why he started Our Revolution.

It’s to support down-ballot Progressive candidates REGARDLESS OF PARTY!!!

 

If we work hard to develop the Green Party then we have an insurance policy against Hillary’s lies.

If she breaks the platform promises then her favorability, even among die-hard Democrats will plummet and the Green Party will be in a position to win in 2020.

Bernie Sanders will be 78 years young in 2020 and I will be circulating a petition in 2019 for him to run as the Green Party President.

More people would vote him in 2020 then did in 2016 and I believe he will still be young enough to do it.

You saw him run to catch that train.

You saw him shooting hoops.

The man lives right and 78 is the new 68.

 

Stranger things have happened.

I feel your pain.

I share your pain.

If you believe in the Green Party then work hard to develop it, while simultaneously fighting for our Progressive values be it on the protest line, in your shopping habits or with your vote.

Sincerely,

Love Michael

daddyandchloe
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An Imaginary Interview with Bernie Sanders

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One of the things I admire most about Bernie Sanders is that he always sticks to issues and never throws anyone under the bus.

This is also one of the things about Senator Sanders that drove me crazy during his Presidential campaign.

So many debate parties, I would find myself screaming at the screen.

“Bernie, she’s lying!! Tear her apart!!”

But Bernie is a statesman and a gentleman and never strayed from the issues.

He spoke his truth and refused to engage in the mudslinging that has become synonymous with American politics.

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with a picture of Bernie Sanders and interviewing it.

Just to be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR, this is not a real interview.

I am asking the questions and then answering them the way I believe that Bernie would answer them.

It is for entertainment purposes, but not ONLY for entertainment purposes.

My goal with this interview is to illuminate why I believe that Bernie made some of the choices that he made.

I am, in no way, trying to say that these are Bernie’s actual thoughts on the following matters.

But as we will probably never know what actually happened at the tail end of his campaign..

This might be as close as we ever get.

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The Independent Thinker: Hey Bernie! Thanks for being here today.

Bernie Sanders: I’m happy to be here.

Indie: You look great. You were starting to look pretty tired there towards the end.

Bernie: Thank you. To be honest. I was getting kind of tired. I’ve been getting more sleep lately.

Indie: Let’s get right to the tough questions. Do you feel that Hillary Clinton’s win in the Democratic primary was legitimate?

Bernie: Secretary Clinton received 3,000,000 more votes than we did. I believe that makes her the winner.

Indie: Okay, but you’re not really here. You’re just a picture, so if we could do away with some of the stock answers and just be completely honest, that’s what my readers are looking for. So I ask you again, do you feel that you lost the primary legitimately?

Bernie: Off the record?

Indie: Sure, I’m willing to lie and say ‘off the record’.

Bernie: Well in that case, there appeared to be some shenanigans taking place all over the country. I believe we had more voters in Kentucky and I believe exit polling showed a wide disparity in Massachusetts and in several other states.

Indie: So you are finally willing to say that the results of the primary were rigged?

Bernie: Off the record, I’m willing to say that some of the results should have been looked at a little deeper, yes.

Indie: Bernie, you are a picture. Hillary Clinton cannot have you killed. The worst thing that I can imagine happening is that maybe she would send some of her goons over here to rip up the picture. So can you stop being so diplomatic, just for the sake of the interview? Or I can just keep lying to you and saying ‘off the record’ if you prefer?

Bernie: I actually prefer that.

Indie: Okay, then the whole interview is off the record. Just know that I love you and it pains me to lie to you.

Bernie: That’s very nice. Thank you.

Indie: So?

Bernie: Look. I don’t want to mince words here. Secretary Clinton had access to the same voter information that we had. You were a canvasser. Is that correct?

Indie: Yes I was.

Bernie: Do you want to explain to your readers what you were able to see on your canvassing app?

Indie: Sure. Through the app, we could see the addresses of the voters, how they were registered and who they intended to vote for.

Bernie: And what did you do with that information?

Indie: We were instructed to knock on the doors of the registered Democrats who were “undecided” and tell them why they should vote for you.

Bernie: So you knew before each primary who was planning on voting for me and who was planning on voting for Secretary Clinton?

Indie: Yes. In fact on election day in Indiana, people were freaking out, because initially you were down by 10 points. People kept calling me. I told them all the same thing. I told them that you were going to win Marion County by a landslide and that ultimately you would win the state by about five points.

Bernie: And how much did we win by?

Indie: Five points.

Bernie: Secretary Clinton’s team had access to the same information you did.

Indie: So what happened then? The exit polling was way off in many states. Are you saying that the DNC had the votes flipped at the machines?

Bernie: I’m saying that, judging by exit polling, it appears that there were disparities.

Indie: Even off the record, your answers are pretty reserved.

Bernie: Would you like me to be more EXTREME?!! (with this Bernie lunges forward in his chair with wide eyes and expands his hands wildly.)

Indie: No. I appreciate your honesty. Moving on…you won 22 states. But I definitely noticed some odd trends. For example, you would win by a landslide in states like Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, then across the border in Arizona and Texas, you lost by a landslide. My theory is that Clinton’s team conceded the states with low delegate counts and only rigged the states with high delegate counts. Your thoughts?

Bernie: Different states have different demographics. Secretary Clinton did very well among Latinos in Arizona and Texas.

Indie: Fair enough. But what about the closed polling stations in Arizona? And remember, this is off the record.

Bernie: What happened in Arizona was a disgrace to Democracy. People waiting five hours in the heat, just to cast their vote? That’s not what America is about. That’s not what Democracy is about.

Indie: But do you feel that the DNC was behind the closed polling stations?

Bernie: I honestly don’t know, but anyone who makes it difficult for people to vote is a political coward.

Indie: And what about New York? Many of us believe that New York was the turning point of the election. 3.2 million registered voters were unable to vote for you there, due to being registered as Independent. There were thousands of people who claimed that their registrations were switched to Republican or back to Independent, after they had switched to Democrat in order to vote for you. Your thoughts?

Bernie: What happened in New York is that the state had a closed primary, with some kind of a ridiculously long period, something like six months ahead of time, required to switch your party registration in order to participate. As a result, millions of New York voters who wanted to vote for our campaign, were unable to, due to the fact that they were not registered with the Democratic Party. This is a very exclusive club. They don’t want just anybody voting in it.

Indie: So you are saying that you feel New York was a legitimate win for Clinton?

Bernie: We knew the rules when we got involved. We decided that our best course of action was to run under the Democratic Party rules and we knew that closed primaries were part of that. Would I like to see open primaries in every state in the union? Yes, but we knew the deck was stacked when we declared our candidacy.

Indie: Do you consider closed primaries to be undemocratic?

Bernie: They are “closed” to millions of voters. By their very definition they are undemocratic.

Indie: Did you ever consider saying publicly that you thought that there was election fraud?

Bernie: It’s a very complex issue. We challenged in Kentucky and the recount came back the same as the original count. If we come out and challenge the legitimacy of the primary, then this is a very serious charge. We need evidence. How do we get evidence? A man or woman walks into a booth and does something very personal and very private. Later on, maybe someone says that the numbers don’t add up, but how do you prove it? We couldn’t challenge the closed primary in New York. We agreed to play by the rules of the Democratic Party. There was a hearing in Arizona and the court ruled that the results were valid. An appeal would have taken months and more importantly would have alienated us further from the Democratic Party, who basically holds all the cards in this scenario. Had we made any such claims, we would have been laughed right out of the campaign. It’s easy to say that we should have rocked the boat, but we were sitting in the boat. Once we realized that we were not going to be treated as fairly as we had hoped, we realized that our best course of action was to try to get the Democratic Party to agree to as many platforms that would help the American people as we could and that’s exactly what we did.

Indie: What about the Brooklyn voter purge? It seems that all of the voters who were purged were planning to vote for you.

Bernie: Secretary Clinton’s team had access to the same information you did.

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Indie: Okay let’s talk about that. You concede that you were treated unfairly by the Democratic Party. You’ve been in politics a long time. You have always been an outsider. You’ve chosen to be an Independent in the Senate and ran for Governor in Vermont as a Democratic Socialist. You had to know that the Democratic Party was going to do everything in its power to stop you.

Bernie: We figured that they would make it difficult, yes.

Indie: You said over and over again that you were not just an issues candidate and that you believed that you were actually going to win. Knowing how corrupt the Democratic party has become, did you really expect that you were going to win?

Bernie: First off, let’s define “winning”. Did we gain the nomination? No. But we mobilized people. We exposed corruption in the party and now we have thousands of people running for Democratic office who are working to take the party back from the establishment. We are moving towards a living wage, Medicare for all..there is an initiative on the ballot in California which we are strongly supporting. This initiative would make everyone in America automatically registered to vote when they turn 18. We are now, for the first time in a long time, moving in the right direction for the working people in our country. I believe strongly that Secretary Clinton, with the right people in Congress, will make the right decisions to move these initiatives forward.

Indie: Okay. Let’s talk about that. A lot of people, like myself, who voted for you, can’t stomach the idea of voting for Hillary Clinton. She is literally the embodiment of everything we have fought against with your campaign. I have to say, I feel angry and betrayed by you asking me to vote for her. In fact, I refuse.

Bernie: I don’t want to mince words here. Secretary Clinton has her issues and there are many things that we disagree on, but she is not the direct opposite of what we have been fighting for. Donald Trump is. There are several things that the secretary and I agree on, whereas I disagree with Mr. Trump on practically every issue. Secretary Clinton supports a woman’s right to choose, whereas Mr. Trump says that women should be punished for having abortions, as if that choice isn’t hard enough. Secretary Clinton may have been late to the party on the rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, but at least she is now at the party. Donald Trump is a bigot and if he is allowed to nominate Supreme Court judges, we will lose everything that we have fought for over the past thirty years. I reject the idea that Secretary Clinton is my opposite.

Indie: Okay, I agree with that, but what about TPP? We know she secretly supports this awful trade agreement. Trump opposes TPP. Can’t I make the argument that it is better to have Trump than TPP?

Bernie: Do you know WHY the Republicans oppose TPP? Many oppose it because it is not powerful ENOUGH! They want to give corporations even more power than this disastrous trade agreement already gives them. Also you have may have noticed that our good friend, Mr. Trump, changes his position almost daily on every issue. So, no, I don’t believe we can trust Trump on TPP or anything else for that matter.

Indie: So what? Hillary becomes President and TPP is passed?

Bernie: If Secretary Clinton tries to pass TPP, you are going to fight her. I am going to fight her. 13 million people who voted for our campaign are going to fight her. And I am hoping, that whoever Americans decide to vote for in November for the House and Senate, will also oppose TPP. We have a real opportunity to defeat this bill if we all work together.

Indie: I’m still not voting for Hillary.

Bernie: That’s your choice.

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Indie: What are your thoughts on the Green Party movement?

Bernie: It’s a good movement. They have a strong platform. I can’t claim to be an expert on it. I think America needs a non-corporate party. The challenge they will run into, is that it takes billions of dollars to run a party and raising those kind of funds without corporate donors will be very difficult. I believe it can be done. We showed that you can run a very strong campaign without corporate donors and I wish the Green Party the best of luck. I’ve believed for a very long time that America needs to break out of the corporate two-party system.

Indie: So why didn’t you accept Jill Stein’s offer to head the Green Party? You had the popular vote. Bernie, it just kills me that you didn’t accept her offer. Please explain your thinking here.

Bernie: This is a very complex issue. It’s something that we explored and by ‘we’, I mean my wife, Jane, my friend and campaign manager, Jeff Weaver and some other key members of our staff and in the end we came to the conclusion that it would have had catastrophic results, not just for the American people, but ultimately for the Green Party as well.

Indie: Explain further please.

Bernie: Well, it’s wonderful to see that so many activists in the Green Party, many whom I suspect are the same activists who helped our campaign, have gone out and put in the legwork required to get the Green Party on the ballot in, what I believe now are 40 states. At the time the invitation was extended, I believe they were only on the ballot in 20 states. This shows me that people are serious about expanding a new party in this country and I strongly support that, but the Green Party, even bringing over our 13 million voters is simply not in position to make a serious run at taking over the government at this time.

Indie: Due to lack of funding?

Bernie: Due to many things. We already discussed that the Democratic Party doesn’t play fair. If I were on the Green Party ticket, do you think that they would be on the ballot in 40 states currently? Or do you think that the DNC lawyers would have started fighting our ballot access? And then we would have to go to court in multiple states at once and they would have stalled, which would have cost us millions. The Democrats have very deep pockets and they have been playing this game for a very long time. It is my belief that my joining the Green Party ticket would have done more harm than good, but I understand that our voters were not privy to these discussions that took place behind closed doors and due to the nature of my relationship with the Democratic Party, I was not able to come out and say too much about this, but I support what they are doing in the Green Party and I know that Our Revolution looks forward to supporting Green Party candidates for the House and Senate going forward.

Indie: Are those the only reasons?

Bernie: Those are the main reasons. Even being on the ballot in 40 states means that you automatically lose in ten states and that is extremely tough to overcome. Had the Democrats blocked our ballot access, then we would have had zero chance and I would have not only hurt the party, but I would have split the vote, which would have allowed Republicans to have total and complete control of our government, starting with Trump in the White House, complete control of the Supreme Court, possibly keeping control of the House and Senate. And then, let’s imagine that we were able to overcome all of that. Let’s imagine that we were able to get tens of millions of dollars in donations just to fight the Democrats in court and then somehow we get on the ballot in all 50 states and we win the Presidency, do you think the Democrats would have been happy about this? Do you think that the Democrats would have been willing to work with us on passing legislation?

Indie: No. They would have blocked everything you tried to pass.

Bernie: Every single piece of legislation that we tried to pass would have been obstructed. Would I be able to look to my cohorts in the Green Party to pass bills through the House and Senate? There aren’t very many Green Party members running for these seats. The party isn’t ready to take over the government at this time. Our best hope of political revolution is to use the resources of the Democratic Party to push a Progressive agenda. Had I accepted the incredibly gracious offer from Dr. Jill Stein, we would have lost all the progress that we made in getting the Democrats to agree to our platform.

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Indie: Regarding the platform. What is to stop Clinton from just sweeping it under the rug? We have seen her lie and flip-flop on positions repeatedly. How can you trust her?

Bernie: If the Democratic Party were going to do that, why did they fight us so hard on it? They refused our $15 per hour minimum wage and opted instead for a $12 per hour minimum. They refused to oppose TPP. They refused to oppose fracking, something that we pushed very hard for. And there were several other issues we disagreed on. The Democratic platform is the basis on which all future decisions of the party will be made. We fought very hard and got them to concede many things to us, but sure, if we just sit around and ignore the promises that were made, then what will happen is that corporate lobbyists will come in and influence Congress to pass bills that work against the best interest of the people. The platform is just the foundation, but IT IS a strong foundation. Now we have to elect people into Congress that will support our positions.

Indie: In 2008 Barack Obama had a fairly Progressive platform. It was pretty much ignored for eight years.

Bernie: Barack Obama is a friend of mine, but in my view, he made a YUGE mistake by not holding his constituents accountable. Not me, us. Not me, us. I keep saying it. One person, alone, in this government, can do very little, but when millions of people stand together there is literally nothing we cannot accomplish. Barack Obama stirred up the people of America and then when he was elected, they went back to their lives. They didn’t run for office. They didn’t pressure their government. They didn’t vote in midterm elections. As a result, Republicans controlled the House and Senate and obstructed his Presidency. That is one of the key differences between Barack Obama and myself. Our movement is one of tremendous activism. Not me, us. Go to https://ourrevolution.com/ and sign up today. Read the emails that we send out and take action. That’s what political revolution is all about.

Indie: Let’s talk briefly about Our Revolution. There was some dissension in the ranks over the appointment of Jeff Weaver as head of the group.

Bernie: That’s not uncommon. In politics it is very rare to have everyone agree on every issue. For whatever reason, the media decided to take that story and blow it way out of proportion.

Indie: But setting it up as a 501c4, allowing big donors to support the movement, doesn’t this go against everything that your campaign stood in opposition to?

Bernie: That depends on who the donors are and what they expect in return. During our presidential campaign, we had Nurses for Bernie, as well as several large labor organizations, that donated large sums of money to our campaign. We also had many other organizations attempt to donate large sums of money to our campaign and we refused their donations. What’s the difference? The difference is that we did not have to compromise even a little bit to accept the donations from the labor unions. We were already fighting for labor unions. We were already fighting for equal pay for women. We were already fighting for paid leave and a $15 per hour minimum wage. These groups wanted to help with that. We didn’t have to compromise our movement. I’ve known Jeff Weaver for a long time. He is a very close friend of mine. One of the reasons why I put him in charge is I know that if some corporation or large individual donor comes up and offers him money, he will let them know that there are no strings attached and if they do not accept this, he will do exactly what he did during our campaign. He will refuse to accept the money. Jeff is a man of great integrity.

Indie: But the 501c4 filing status made it to where you could not coordinate with Tim Canova. Many feel that this cost him the win in Florida.

Bernie: Tim Canova is a good man. He is exactly the kind of Progressive we need to take on the big money interests in Washington, but the fact of the matter is that the incumbent always has a tremendous advantage, due to name recognition and having the financial support of the establishment. While it is true that the filing status prevented us from coordinating with Tim’s campaign, I do not believe that flying to Florida and giving a few speeches would have been enough to change the outcome of that primary election.

Indie: I noticed on the Our Revolution website that Act Blue was taking donations. They also take donations for Hillary Clinton. Will any of the money donated to Our Revolution go to Hillary?

Bernie: Absolutely not. Every dime donated will go to support Progressive causes and Progressive candidates.

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Indie: I feel kind of embarrassed asking you this, but…

Bernie: I’m just a picture sitting on your desk. You’ve been sitting here talking to a picture for hours. How much worse could it get?

Indie: That’s a good point. I was…

Bernie: I just want to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Are you off your meds again?

Indie: I’ve been off my meds for years now, Bernie. I meditate and do yoga daily. I also do Crossfit and eat a strict vegetarian diet. Political activism and being creative are also part of my program. I find with all these things, I no longer need to take my meds.

Bernie: Well, the fact remains that you are talking to a picture.

Indie: Can we get back to the interview please.

Bernie: It’s your article.

Indie: Okay, speaking of my sanity, I’m kind of embarrassed to ask you this, but my readers want to know. Did the DNC ever threaten you?

Bernie: Not directly, no.

Indie: They threatened you indirectly?

Bernie: Politics is a dirty game. I have been in the House and Senate for a long time. I’m the head of several subcommittees and I have a lot of relationships that I have developed over the years. As a result of these relationships, we are sometimes able to come to agreements on legislation and occasionally we can work together to get bills passed that help the American people. The Democratic establishment was growing tired of our campaign. They saw us as outsiders and their patience was wearing thin with our reluctance to concede and endorse Secretary Clinton. It was pretty clear that if I did not make the endorsement, then they were going to be unwilling to work with us going forward. On the other hand, we had some leverage within the Party. We had 13 million voters and I wasn’t going to abandon them, so we had a series of meetings in which we got the Party, as well as Secretary Clinton, to agree to push forward our initiatives in exchange for an endorsement.

Indie: But they also wanted a concession.

Bernie: Yes, but we were not prepared to do this.

Indie: Why endorse, but not concede?

Bernie: What if something were to happen to Secretary Clinton, God forbid? She has various issues with her emails and such. We wanted to be in position to take over the nomination, should she not be able to fulfill it for whatever reason.

Indie: At the convention, you asked if Vermont could go last during the roll call. After 49 states had voted and it became clear that the super-delegates had pledged to Hillary, you grabbed the microphone and suspended the rules. Why didn’t you just concede?

Bernie: We didn’t want to surrender our delegates. I wish Secretary Clinton all the best, but if she were unable to fulfill her duties, we wanted to be sure that we were next in line to take over.

Indie: Okay, I’m embarrassed to ask this, but there was a rumor circulating that you or your family were threatened physically and that is why you endorsed Hillary.

Bernie: That’s preposterous.

Indie: At the convention, you had a mark on your face. I believe this was the genesis of the rumor. Care to comment on the mark?

Bernie: Let me ask you something. I assume you did some research on me before this interview?

Indie: I’m a huge fan. I’ve read your book. I know more about you than I know about all my friends put together.

Bernie: In any of that reading and researching, did I strike you as the kind of guy who could be bullied or the kind of guy who would succumb to threats?

Indie: No. I never believed any of that stuff. I am just asking for my readers.

Bernie: Sometimes we let our imaginations get away from us.

Indie: One last question.

Bernie: Go!

Indie: Can I get a hug?

Bernie: Get over here.

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Polyamory with Bernie and Jill

FINGERUPToday I needed to go into a government building.

I was told to grab a number and take a seat.

I sat down and opened my tablet.

As I pissed away my precious time looking at memes I did not understand and kittens I could not pet, I was interrupted by a loud

“Hey!!”

I looked up to see a police officer towering over me.

He continued..

“You aren’t allowed to have that in here!!”

He was pointing at my tablet.

I contemplated my next maneuver.

Who was this pathetic little man in front of me?

Without that badge and gun, I bet he wouldn’t be so brave?

Understanding the rules of society and my lack of power in the situation, I contemplated my choices.

I really needed to get those forms.

I drove all the way down here.

And now this bully was throwing a monkey wrench in my day.

There were several hours of people in the queue ahead of me and I had neglected to bring a book.

If I had to put my tablet away, I would just have to stare into space the entire time.

There was only one intelligent choice.

“I’m sorry.” I said “I didn’t know.” and closed my tablet without a trace of attitude.

He walked away feeling like a big man.

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Without anything to distract me, I was forced to watch the other people waiting.

I wondered about their lives.

A man, about my age, walked in and pulled a number.

He had a tattoo of a razor-blade across his Adam’s apple.

He sat down and pulled out his phone.

The officer had a chance to feel worthwhile again.

He walked briskly from the corner until his crotch was even with the razor-blade man’s face.

“You can’t have that in here!!”

The man looked up.

There was no processing options.

He knew exactly what to do.

“Oh, Super-Cop, eh?!!” he said, standing up.

Then he added

“I don’t need this shit!!” and then “Fuck you!!” halfheartedly under his breath as he walked away.

The cop stared daggers in the man’s back and fingered his taser.

The cop thought better of it.

The razor-blade man escaped unharmed.

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Eventually my number was called.

I had my meeting and all went well.

Because I went to the meeting my son will be able to get the medicine he needs to stay alive.

I wondered about what I would say to my son, had I chosen to rebel against the power-mad cop.

I contemplated a world in which some men have dominance over others and how to navigate such an unfair existence.

I thought about Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the turmoil our country as been in, as a result of our Schizophrenic presidential election.

I thought about my friends who supported Bernie Sanders in such an extreme way, that adjusting to the reality of a Hillary Clinton presidency has them angry and depressed.

 

I wondered if the same energy required to force real change in our government would doom that energy to implode if the leadership went missing.

 

 

I remembered when my friend said “Bernie or Bust is basically the Tea Party of the Left.”

I remembered being annoyed and saying..

“If you mean that we are pulling the Democratic Party to the left the way The Tea Party pulled the Republicans to the right, then sure.”

“That’s exactly what I mean.” he said “The Democratic Party has moved to the right as well. The Bernie Sanders campaign is about overpowering the movement of the Koch Brothers and the 1%. It’s directly opposite. Your movement is strong, because it is radical, but never lose sight that the ultimate goal is to move the party back to the left.”

He was right.

The Democratic Party is broken.

It’s neoliberal centrism no longer represents our values.

It’s so controlled by corporate interests, that it often neglects to represent the people.

So those who are justifiably angry at the Democratic Party have some choices to make and they have to make them fast.

November is looming.

435 House seats and 34 Senate seats are up for grabs.

The chance to usher in a new Progressive age in America is at hand.

And Bernie Sanders army of supporters are in complete control of our country’s destiny.

bernieinblack

 

But the Bernie people are angry and they should be.

They were mistreated.

They were silenced.

The election deck was stacked against them and what makes matters worse is that they are 100% correct about the flaws of Hillary Clinton.

They are right to criticize her hawkish war record.

They are right to demand her Wall Street transcripts.

They are right not to trust her, when she has repeatedly lied to them.

 

Many are angry that Sanders did not join with Jill Stein and get revenge on the Democrats for short-changing him.

But developing a third-party is a lot more than just running a President.

If you are serious about developing the Green Party, phone-banking, donating and canvassing are not enough.

If you are serious about developing the Green Party, then you need to make sure that there are Green Party candidates running for the important offices in your area.

And if there are not, then you need to run yourself.

If by some incredible set of circumstances, Jill Stein were able to win the Presidency, what would she be able to accomplish without a sympathetic House and Senate?

Do you have Green Party candidates running for Congress in your district?

 

Most districts do not.

So what’s the strategy?

How do we continue our Progressive momentum without supporting a candidate who represents everything we stand against?

We must decide and fast.

Because allowing Republicans to control Congress will absolutely destroy everything we have worked for.

What are the maneuvers that will optimize the progress we have made to this point?

Time for Independents and Greens to make some tough choices.

We only have two months to decide the fate of the world.

berniegirl

So am I telling you that you should vote for Hillary Clinton?

You can do whatever you want.

It’s your vote.

I will be voting for Dr Jill Stein, even though I do not believe she has a legitimate shot to win.

I am voting for her, because I want to see more options on my ballot going forward.

I do not want another choice between a warmonger and a reality TV star.

I am voting for Jill Stein because Hillary Clinton and the DNC burned all their bridges with me.

I am voting for Jill Stein because she is the candidate who most closely represents my values.

I understand why Sanders endorsed Clinton.

He accepted the fact that the system was rigged against him, so he traded his 13 million votes towards a Progressive agenda, knowing that if we did our jobs in November, Clinton would be locked into supporting our positions or she would accomplish absolutely nothing during her one-term presidency.

Sure she is a liar, but she will not be a very effective one with a Congress full of Progressives.

As much as I hate that Clinton and the corrupt DNC’s cheating will be rewarded with the presidency, I will not compound this problem, by allowing her to run amok and do whatever she pleases.

Instead we need to insure that she works for us.

There are ways to force her to keep her word.

If you agree that Hillary is untrustworthy, then you must also agree that it is incumbent upon us to make sure we are pulling the strings that control her.

It is entirely possible to support Jill Stein and the Green Party, while promoting down-ballot candidates that further the values Sanders and his supporters worked so incredibly hard for.

If you want to vote for Jill, then you should.

Vote for Jill Stein to send a message to the DNC and Hillary Clinton that we do not approve of the way we have been treated.

Vote for Jill Stein because she has good policies.

 

Vote for Jill Stein because part of bringing the Democrats to the left is giving them competition from the left.

But how do Progressives vote in the down-ballot races where there aren’t any Green or Independent candidates to choose from?

Are we so angry with the DNC that we are going to refuse to vote entirely, thereby allowing the Republicans to keep control of Congress?

Because if we do that, we will lose everything we fought for and Bernie traded in his 13 million votes for nothing.

It seems to me that the most logical way to vote for these open seats is to vote in the way that binds Hillary Clinton to Progressive policies, while taking away her ability to repeat her hawkish patterns.

If we have Progressives in the House and Senate then we have complete control over her.

We can stop her from passing TPP.

We can stop her from declaring war.

We can even block her Supreme Court nominees if need be.

getoverit

I am sorry that I cannot stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

We all did everything we could.

Many of us went to Philadelphia to protest this heinous corruption.

I was hoping that we could get enough people there to shut down the city and for one night we actually did, but in the end there simply weren’t enough of us.

If you want to start occupying major cities and demand a Hillary Clinton indictment, then I am right there with you.

But if you aren’t willing to do that, then you are going to have to control the other branches of government and that means voting Progressives into every office.

If your area doesn’t have any true Progressives running, then you will have to make a decision on whether to vote for the most Progressive candidate or to simply run yourself.

We cannot allow Hillary Clinton to start any more wars.

We cannot allow Hillary Clinton to give tax breaks to her wealthy friends.

We will support Progressive candidates, regardless of what party they are affiliated with, because that is the only way to keep a reign on her.

Not voting is not an option.

We’ve come too far..

And this election is simply too important to throw away.

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Activism and Escaping the Corporate Matrix

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As I sit here on this rainy Sunday morning, I feel defeated.

I know the majority of the people reading this are feeling the same way and I wanted to reach out and let you know that you are not alone.

I know that I cannot allow myself to stay down for long.

I know that in politics, cynicism is death.

When I hear people say that they won’t even bother to vote anymore, I remind them that we MUST vote.

I remind them that it is our civic duty to vote.

I remind them of the millions who gave their lives for this right

But I know that our votes were not counted in the “Democratic” primary.

So I understand the discouragement that you are feeling at this time.

I have felt this way my entire life, but after the last year, a year in which an entire country was awakened and told that we could change the system, only to be crushed by that very system, it is hard not to feel defeated sometimes.

“The arc of history is long and it bends towards justice.” Dr King said and for my sanity’s sake, I am inclined to believe him.

When I look back over my brief time on this planet, I see great change has occurred.

We have made gradual, but huge progress for women’s rights, for the rights of children, for the rights of our sisters and brothers in the LBGT+ community.

And I know that I do not have the privilege of setting down my pen or my sword, while there are so many battles left to fight.

But my heart is made low by this presidential “election” and I sometimes long for the days when I was less informed.

 

systemfailure

As I search for the silver lining in this pile of dog shit, there are certain things I cannot live with.

Although it has been clear to me for some time that multi-national corporations have taken control of our government, I never fully understood the extent of their tyranny until this past year.

The corporations are experts in propaganda.

By design, the gap between the informed and the politically brain-dead is ever-widening.

Millions tune in daily to CNN, MSNBC or Fox to get “the news” and are filled to bursting with horrific, entertaining ideas, that leave them starved for relevent information.

The toxic effects of the corporate idiocracy do not stop with our eyes and ears.

As Americans stuff their mouths on products more akin to plastic than food, their guts are widening, but they are dying of malnutrition.

Corporate America is in the business of creating drones and has zero motivation to encourage free thought.

In fact, independent thought is a threat to their agenda.

Our TVs grow larger and our plates overflow.

But our cups are half-empty and what’s in the cup is rumored to cause cancer and maybe autism.

But we don’t know for sure

The FDA refuses to research it.

sewnshut

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 stars and career criminals 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.

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But I am encouraged…

As funny as it sounds, I am encouraged.

 

Because despite all of our problems, there is at this moment, a tiny window of opportunity to take control.

While I am tempted to wallow in the misery of our rigged presidential election, I really don’t have time to waste on that.

Instead I must focus on the positive and it occurs to me, that the thought that they had to rig the election is encouraging.

 

This means we have them outnumbered.

This means that people are waking up.

How does the evolved citizen move within this corporate matrix for maximum effectiveness?

What can one do within the confines of a corporate controlled government to make the world livable for all people?

The truth is that we can do a lot, but it is a lot of hard work.

As it is my goal to keep this piece short and readable, I cannot possibly list everything that we can do in one paper, but if you are interested in information and ideas to exercise your power as an activist, you can click here to connect with me on social media, where I post daily ideas and strategies for activism.

For starters, we have to take control of our local government.

If we control Congress, then we decide what bills pass and what bills don’t.

The corporations can install Hillary Clinton as President, but she will be completely handcuffed, if we counter with a Progressive Congress.

This can be an overwhelming process.

It is no longer acceptable to just vote a straight Democratic ticket.

We need to know where these Dems stand on key issues like TPP, Climate Change and important civil rights matters.

We cannot just take them at their word.

We need to see their voting record.

We need to know where their money is coming from.

I suggest you start by joining Brand New Congress, a group that seeks to completely take control of The House with our Progressive agenda by 2018.

Here is a link to find people who are running for local office who also embody the ideals of Bernie Sanders.

Also visit BallotPedia and enter your zip code to find out who will be on the ballot in your area this November, so you can research their policies and decide who to vote for.

You may find that none of the candidates excite you.

In this case, I would encourage you to run for office yourself or encourage someone you know to take on the challenge, under the promise that you will do extensive volunteering to help them attain said office.

I encourage you to get deeply involved in your local government and campaign for those who represent your values even in the smallest of offices.

Who is your local prosecutor?

Do they have ties to for-profit prisons?

All this information is available online, if you search for it.

A small team of hardcore activists can drastically affect local elections.

You can change the outcomes of important offices in your community.

Find someone who champions your views and go sit down with them.

Tell them you want to help.

Believe me, they will be grateful.

no-non-compliance

In addition to taking control of your local government, there is so much you can do daily, by voting with your dollars.

Everyone likes to talk about how much they hate Monsanto, but do you unknowingly support them?

You know that free speech is sacred, but are you being deceived into giving money to corporations who want to limit it?

Activism isn’t about being perfect.

It’s about giving effort.

Transferring your money out of the banking system into a locally owned credit union won’t save the world, but it’s a step.

Don’t beat yourself up for falling short in some areas.

That just means that you are highly aware.

The corporations have such a stranglehold on our lives, that to avoid all of them would require you to live completely off the grid.

Unfortunately, we do have to make compromises at this current time.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t make an impact.

Perhaps you give money to Time Warner, Verizon or Comcast (companies who oppose net neutrality), because you have decided that having home Internet is essential to your happiness.

That’s okay.

Your efforts in other areas still count tremendously.

Also, by looking at our own imperfections, we learn not to judge others, but instead are inspired to educate and help them.

Be creative.

There are a million ways to affect change.

The truth is ugly and victories are few and far between, but you can make a huge impact.

From the conversations that you have with people to what you share on social media.

From what you purchase, to who you vote for.

Ours is a war of attrition.

Ours is a battle for hearts and minds.

We know those in power will never stop trying to gain more control.

But ultimately, we will win, through using the power we have to organize and make change.

It’s okay to be angry.

It’s okay to be cynical sometimes.

But ultimately..

For our own sanity..

We must all be activists.

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