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

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

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

and

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

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

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

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

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 This was a luxury afforded my ancestors, but apparently has been rescinded for my generation.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

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

George Orwell was right.

He just missed it by a couple of decades.

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

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

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

These two things are not connected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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FREE Copy of My Bernie Journey Book

Hey Progressives!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or as my former Hillary supporting friend put it:

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

And THAT IS WHY I feel this book is important.

People need to know OUR story.

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

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

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

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

Every Sanders supporter will want to read this.

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

I really feel that strongly about it.

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

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

Thank you for believing in my work.

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

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

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

How to Get the Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s your book.

I’m just the guy who wrote everything down.

bernieteering

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.

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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. 

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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

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Is the “Russian Hack” Really Just a Smokescreen for Another US War for Oil?

 

Bernie Sanders came out on live TV recently and said that he agrees with American intelligence saying that Russia was responsible for the alleged hacks of the DNC and that their goal was to “undermine our democracy”.

Julian Assange has been on record stating that the Russian government was not the source of the alleged hacks.

Whom do we believe when two leftist icons disagree?

Furthermore, why is this even important?

Regardless of who leaked or hacked the emails, the content remains the same. When taken as a whole, we see very clearly that the DNC not only wanted Hillary Clinton as their nominee, but that they were in collusion with corporate media outlets to insure that Sanders never stood a realistic chance to win.

Let us not forget that the DNC sought to use these same corporate media arms to help Donald Trump to become the GOP nominee, because they felt that this would lead to an easy Clinton victory.

America sat by and watched this strategy blow up in Clinton’s face, in an absolutely disastrous election, that saw the Democrats lose control of every branch of government.

Now from the rubble of the Democratic Party come accusations that the Russians are behind the Wikileaks. Some even go so far as to say that we need a complete reelection, starting at the primary level.

This entire situation is such a huge mess that it’s difficult to even begin unraveling it. Even if the Russians were responsible for the alleged hack, this certainly does nothing to change the fact that the Democrats conspired to ruin Sanders and some would say that the source of the leak is not relevant, due to the content found in the emails.

It’s no wonder that Sanders’ supporters find it particularly disturbing that Sanders is on TV saying that the “evidence is overwhelming” that the Russian government is behind the alleged hacks, when he and his followers were the victims of the content found in the emails.

When leftist icons like Sanders and Assange disagree, what are Progressives to believe?

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Even though Sanders says that the evidence supports the intelligence claim of Russian involvement, we the people, have no hard evidence that can be linked to the Russian government and there is no reason to believe that Senator Sanders has any more knowledge than the public has.

These accusations against the Russians smell eerily similar to the Bush/Cheney administration’s claims that Iraq was secretly harboring Weapons of Mass Destruction, in the Bush administration’s efforts to sway public sentiment, in order to enter into a war that should have never occurred.

These accusations are dangerous.

What the US government and their corporate media arms hope to accomplish with these allegations can be the subject of infinite speculation, but if we use history as our guide, it is likely a power-play designed to increase the United States’ leverage in their agenda to supplant Assad in Syria, which would give the US access to the building of a pipeline, which would result in trillions of dollars in gains for the corporations that own our government.

Or perhaps it is a ploy to weaken Trump and set him up for impeachment, in hopes of putting the more malleable Mike Pence in charge.

The American people are left to speculate when their government claims that they have proof, but are unwilling or unable to provide said proof.

The unnecessary declaration of war on Iraq lead to the creation of Isis and now we see what appear to be similar maneuverings by our government less than two decades later.

Am I saying that the accusations against the Russian state are untrue? I would not go that far. But upon careful investigation, we see that there is no concrete evidence available to the public to support such a claim.

Forgive us, if we do not trust our government.

But they have a long history of lying to the American people.

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Julian Assange has repeatedly busted the American government in the act of cheating and therefore has become a hero to leftists everywhere. But Assange clearly has an agenda and it is not necessarily simply finding the truth.

It is curious that somehow each time Assange finds out something about the American government and its shady dealings, that somehow these findings always seem to benefit Russia. If we are to find truth, we must hold our icons up to the light of skepticism and expect the same transparency that we desire from our own government.

Had Assange released Donald Trump’s tax returns, as Wikileaks originally promised, then the American voter would have had a much clearer picture of the two incredibly corrupt candidates that were running for our nation’s highest office, but Assange reneged on Wikileaks claim that they would deliver Trump’s tax returns and repeatedly focused on Clinton’s corruption. As a result, the American people will learn about Trump’s malfeasance firsthand, once he begins running our country further into the ground by using our nation’s highest office to line his pockets.

Disdain for Hillary Clinton is a separate issue and does not let Assange off the hook here. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend and Assange has a history of helping the Russian government. Add to this Putin’s desire to see Trump in office and we begin to see Assange’s one-sided agenda through a lens of suspicion.

It is no wonder that Assange has become such an icon for the leftist movement. His boyish good looks, charm and accent make him incredibly likable. The fact that he is hiding from our tyrannical government makes him seem downright heroic. Furthermore, he brought down the oligarchy, which makes him an activist legend. But, if you are searching for actual truth, it is worth asking why Assange’s findings repeatedly benefit the Russians. Assange is literally on the Kremlin payroll, with his show, The World Tomorrow, airing on Russian Times, a network founded by Vladimir Putin.

Putin wanted Trump.

Putin pays Assange.

Assange helps deliver Trump.

Don’t we always say to “follow the money”?

Have we become so angry at our own government, that we are willing to embrace Vladimir Putin and allow him power in our elections?

Are we so disgusted with the findings regarding the DNC, that we forget to ask the obvious questions about the intent of those who went hunting for said information to begin with?

Do any of us actually believe that the Russian government is any less corrupt than our own government, with its recent history of propping up dictators in France, Germany, Austria and the Ukraine?

The American people are right to be suspect of our own intelligence agencies, as they have lied to us repeatedly, but you would be doing yourself a great disservice, if you didn’t ask why Putin was so excited to see Trump’s rise to power.

Just as it would be foolish to accept American intelligence as gospel, it would be equally foolhardy to dismiss the preponderance of circumstantial evidence that points directly to Vladimir Putin and his employee, Julian Assange.

Wikileaks fans will repeatedly point out that Wikileaks have never had to retract a single story in their ten year existence. And while I definitely think they deserve tremendous credit for being one of the only sources of truth left on this tyrannical, corporate-controlled planet, it is the stories that Wikileaks isn’t covering that should make you suspicious of their motives.

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So why did Bernie Sanders say that the “evidence is overwhelming” when the American people have no hard evidence to implicate the Russians?

Before we attempt to answer this, let’s first congratulate the corporate media, on finally getting Sanders to say something that they can use.

For nearly two years they have been putting microphones in Sanders’ face and asking him tough questions, much tougher questions than any other candidate was ever asked. Each time, Sanders did what he always does, he answered with the truth and then the corporate media did what it always does, they cut out everything he said, only to air a sensationalist story to deceive and distract the public.

But that’s not what happened this time. This time Bernie Sanders said something that actually was consistent with what the corporate media wanted him to say and they have ran the sound-bite on a nonstop loop since he uttered it.

As Sanders attempts to reform the Democrats in his image, those scorned by the party, have been quick to accuse Sanders of being a puppet for the corporate establishment, a scenario that is possible, but highly unlikely.

Sanders has no such record of being in bed with these corporatists and has literally spent his entire life fighting them. Sanders’ life would have been much simpler had he buckled and joined the Democratic Party decades ago, but instead he literally spent his entire career fighting against the Dems and the GOP simultaneously.

What’s more amazing is that he won most of these battles.

Let us also take note that since the general election, Sanders has been incredibly critical of the Democratic Party, saying that it was not enough to say “I’m a woman. Vote for me.” and repeatedly calling on party leaders to shed their corporate ties and serve the American people again.

So if there is no concrete proof of Russian involvement in the DNC hacks, why did Senator Sanders say that “the evidence is overwhelming.”?

I submit that Sanders simply said it because he believes it to be true.

Sanders was asked a direct question on live TV and he spoke on the matter for 30 seconds and never revisited the topic.

He did not bring it up.

He did not say that it cost the Democrats the election.

He said that he “agreed with the intelligence community’s assessment” and based on this, many on the left went right to the “Bernie sold us out” rhetoric that has become the mantra of wannabe revolutionaries.

Of course, it makes perfect sense that every word Sanders says is amplified with white-hot intensity. It is, at once, the best and worst part of his revolution. Sanders brought new blood into politics. Many of the people who follow him are incredibly passionate, but passion can be a double-edged sword. The same people who exult Sanders one minute, will oppose him with intense anger a moment later.

Sanders has become a leftist political icon, but perhaps his followers put him under too much scrutiny, constantly looking for the tiniest defect to prove their hypothesis, that all politicians are corrupt, much in the same way that a teenager will rally behind an obscure punk band, only to turn on that band when the band achieves some measure of commercial success.

Sanders has become Kale Soup for the Leftist/Activist Soul.

When the mountain seems too steep to climb, Sanders’ supporters think of him speaking to those empty Senate floors and feel emboldened. When they feel overwhelmed in their attempts to free our country from tyranny, they think back to the young man who was so determined to fight injustice that he had to be dragged away in handcuffs.

Sanders’ has become more than just a politician. He has become a symbol of hope in the face of impossible odds. So it is only natural that his followers would hover a microscope over his every word and action, looking for cracks in the facade. It is only natural that Sanders’ followers would have a religious zealotry towards this great man and come apart at the seams at the possibility that he has been absorbed by the very machine they have been attempting to bring down.

But Sanders isn’t in anyone’s pocket.

He simply believes that Russia was behind the alleged hack.

You can choose to believe him.

You can choose to believe Julian Assange.

You can choose to believe neither and hope that further evidence comes to light.

 

The truth is out there.

But in this case, we will probably never know.

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Michael E Sparks is a Progressive independent writer. If you believe in the importance of his voice, you can donate $1 by clicking HERE.

 

 

 

Bernie Sanders Gave Me a Christmas Present

I walk into my local bookstore and see my favorite human, Bernie Sanders, staring at me from directly inside the store window. His book, Our Revolution, is flying off the shelves. As I bring it to the register the clerk says

“I read it. I cried. I love Bernie.”

And we are immediately friends.

Leaving the shop, I pull up at the stop-light and start looking for the latest Young Turks podcast on my phone. As I do there is honking from behind and beside me. I look up to see what is going on. The guy to my left gives me a thumbs up. It says “Feel the Bern 2020” on both sides of my car. The girl in the car behind me also gives me the thumbs up too and then starts taking pictures of my Bernie-mobile.

This happens almost every time I stop at a light.

My faith in humanity is constantly being restored.

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Someone told me that Bernie Sanders lost the election, but they completely missed the point. Bernie won and we won. More importantly, we are still winning, because Sanders started something and we will not stop until it is finished.

Everywhere I go, I meet people who believe in Sanders message of compassion. The air is alive with people talking political change. This is the most informed generation in our country’s young history. I can go anywhere in America and find people who believe as I do, that every man, woman and child deserves the right to healthcare, a living wage and an opportunity to pursue higher education.

Bernie Sanders made it okay to be a proud Socialist and taught millions of people what the word actually means. He woke us up and we aren’t going back to sleep. He introduced us to each other and we are a powerful force to be reckoned with.

That is the incredible gift that Bernie Sanders gave to all of us.

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The revolution is going on right now.

It began the moment Sanders stood up in the backyards of rural areas, where Democrats fear to tread and said what we had all been thinking.

Bernie was clear from the beginning that it was about US. He told US to stand together and we would win. I know that it is hard, right now, with the utter mess that our country’s political system has become, but out of chaos arises opportunity.

The confluence of America’s political system hitting rock bottom at the same time as this great man rising up and becoming a voice of awakening for an entire generation, is exactly what needed to happen for our country to take a giant leap forward into a new Progressive era.

Sanders started a conversation and traveled from town to town sharing these truths that we hold to be self-evident.

Now it is up to US to continue the conversation.

It is up to US to help our neighbor. It is up to US to fight injustice. It is up to US to run for office, to boycott corporations, to push until every one of Bernie’s dreams becomes a reality.

Because Bernie’s dreams are our dreams.

Before Sanders, we were fragmented. We felt alone and powerless.

Now awake, we are an unstoppable force.

As I walk into a local coffee shop, Bernie Sanders is on corporate media. He is applying pressure to Barack Obama to declare Standing Rock a national monument. Later the same day, I walk into the gym and one of the Republican guys yells…

“Boy, Ol Bernie is really lettin em have it, Mike!!”

I look up at the TV and Sanders is on talking about reforming the “Democratic” Party and ridding it of corporate influence.

“Show this guy your Bernie tattoo!!” another one of my Republican friends hollers.

I do and we all laugh together.

Bernie has united people from all different walks of life.

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Bernie has a platform now. People are awake. They are listening. And anyone who knows anything about change, knows that first people have to become aware of what needs to change before change can begin.

For the next few years, things will be hard and we will have many opportunities to band together to fight injustice and if we fight hard enough and make our voices loud enough, we can begin usher in a new age of enlightenment in America.

It is up to US to take this wonderful gift that Bernie has given us and continue to give it to everyone we meet.

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After doing some (non-corporate) Christmas shopping, I returned to my car to find a note. I cringed, thinking that some Trump supporter might have taken umbrage with my First Amendment right to express my Socialist views.

I was wrong.

Instead there was a beautiful letter, from a friend I haven’t met, telling me how much they love the Bernie-mobile, leaving me warm and fuzzy this holiday season. This was just the latest in a million reminders that our movement has only just begun.

2016 brought us together.

In 2017 we will continue the fight.

In 2018 we lay claim to the House and Senate.

And in 2020 we right a great wrong and vote Bernie Sanders into The White House.

Happy Holidays to all my amazing Bernie friends everywhere.

Meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to me.

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Michael recently published an epic book about his adventures touring the country for Bernie Sanders. You can get a free copy HERE. Merry Christmas everyone!!

A Progressive Call to Arms

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Martin Niemoller

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A friend of mine stopped by my house recently.

She was scared.

My friend was born male, but now identifies as female.

She said…

“I’ve only recently began to be able to walk down the street. I fear that if Donald Trump becomes president, then it will become open season on people like me.”

Our house is a safe haven in the middle of Indiana, a state which is anything but safe for people who are different.

There is a rainbow flag in the window and a Bernie Sanders sign in the yard.

Although my politics fall to the extreme left, I am no idealist.

I believe strongly that we should always attempt to use peaceful means to resolve conflict.

But I know that we must also take extreme measures to insure our freedoms from those who seek to limit them.

I live in the birthplace of the KKK.

It always takes bravery to be one’s self.

But let’s be real.

It takes more bravery to be like my friend than it does to be like me.

My friend is right to be afraid of violence under a Trump presidency.

We’ve seen the rallies and we’ve heard the hate-speech.

“You’ll be okay” I told her “I’ve got your back.”

And then I added…

“Millions of people have your back.”

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I live in a state where Mike Pence was the governor.

He passed laws making it legal for businesses to discriminate against members of the LBGT+ community and he passed laws discriminating against a woman’s right to choose.

We worked tirelessly to get a Pathway to Citizenship referendum passed, but our representatives would hide in their offices and refuse to meet with us.

But our problems are not unique to the Midwest.

And Donald Trump has not limited his hate-speech to members of just one community.

He has made hateful comments and threats to members of the Hispanic community, Blacks, Jews, women, Muslims and the differently-abled.

It is my belief that his nomination to the presidency will give rise to hate in America.

It is my belief that bigots of all varieties will feel emboldened by his ignorance and subsequent rise to power.

It is my belief that school-yard bullies and cowards of all stripes will feel that hate is not only acceptable, but rewarded.

What is a small child to think when they see that someone can stand on a podium and make hateful remarks and then this person can be rewarded to the extent that they are made the most powerful person on Earth?

A dangerous precedent has been set…

And it is up to us to fight every battle that will come our way during the next four years.

If you call yourself a Progressive then I am calling on you to prove it each and every time you see discrimination.

I am asking you to be a warrior.

I believe with all my heart that this is the duty of every American.

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I’ve been all over this country and met tons of Trump supporters.

By and large they are good people.

Most of them are people who have worked hard their entire lives and they have watched their jobs get shipped overseas by trade agreements that hurt the American people.

Many of them lost their houses to a corrupt banking system and these same people are now paying for the bank bailout.

I want to be careful to not encourage the media’s portrayal of the Trump supporter as a dangerous and armed White Supremacist, but at the same time it is important to point out that some of Trump’s support actually comes from this small segment of our population and these people are potentially very dangerous.

It is our job to speak out when and where we see discrimination.

When I use the phrase A Call to Arms I do not mean that we take up firearms.

I sincerely hope that it will never come to that.

I am speaking instead of a much more effective means of fighting.

I am referring to compassion and activism.

I am asking everyone who reads this to be an ally every day in every way that life presents to you.

And I am asking you to look for new opportunities to be brave in a world that is often hostile.

Most of you reading this are more than likely already doing amazing things in your communities.

I applaud you and ask that you hold these questions in the front of your mind…

“What can I do to help the cause of equality?”

and

“What can I do to make the world a better place?”

In the past year we have learned, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that our country has a long way to go to reach equality for all of its citizens.

Some might view Trump’s election and candidacy as a setback to this cause.

Perhaps it is.

But at least the hatred is out in the open now.

Now we know what we are dealing with.

It is the duty of all good people to go above and beyond.

When millions of people stand together..

They win.

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By signing in the comments below and sharing this article with a friend you agree to do the following, as well as millions of other creative acts of kindness.

I promise to smile and speak to people.

I promise to feed those who are hungry.

I promise to speak out against discrimination anywhere and everywhere I see it.

I promise to fight any and all legislation that attempts to legalize hate.

I solemnly swear to defend women’s reproductive rights.

I promise to comfort victims.

I will attend rallies and protests for minority and women’s rights.

I will compassionately educate those with small minds.

I will listen to people and consider their points of view.

I will be slow to anger and quick to forgive.

I will not name-call, fat shame, slut-shame or engage in any other form of discrimination against people based on religion (or lack thereof), appearance or ethnicity.

I will abstain from supporting corporations that do not promote Progressive values.

I will do anonymous good deeds and random acts of kindness.

I will call and write my elected officials and tell them what legislation is important to me.

I will rally people together to vote out politicians who do not support my values.

I will be kind to animals and children.

I will assist the disabled and the elderly.

I will fight for a pathway to citizenship, so that all people who want to truly “make America great again” can come and contribute to our society.

I will treat those in the service industry with kindness and respect.

I will make eye contact and ask people how their day is.

I will listen.

I will fight against pre-programmed knee-jerk reactions.

I will love people.

Not just those who are easy to love…

But all people.

I will make the world a better place.

I will be an ally to anyone who needs it.

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I want to make this page a place where people can celebrate compassion and diversity.

I want to encourage people to come here and share stories of times when you stood up for something good.

Don’t look at it as bragging.

It helps people to be able to read your stories.

It inspires them to take their own giant steps.

It inspires others to be brave.

Thank you for participating in my project.

Love to you all.

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Michael is an activist, an ally and an independent writer. If you believe in his work and his mission you can support it by donating $1 HERE. He will probably use it to create a sign for a protest or some other crazy liberal activity.

 

 

When I Said Bernie or Bust, I Meant It

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When I first started volunteering for Bernie Sanders, I was actually still excited about Hillary Clinton. This may surprise a lot of my readers, given the fact that I’ve written such scathing anti-Clinton articles as I Used To Be In Love With Hillary Clinton and Hillary Clinton Has a Gun to My Head.

I was all about having America’s first woman president. I planned to work very hard for Bernie Sanders, but vote for Hillary Clinton if she defeated Sanders in the primaries. People on social media, recognizing that I was a hardcore Sanders volunteer, repeatedly asked me to join a circulating pledge called Bernie or Bust and repeatedly I refused. In a world full of lies, spin and deception, truth becomes a valuable commodity, so I won’t pledge something that I don’t believe in 100%.

At the first “Democratic” debate, I was still planning on voting for Hillary if she won. At the second “Democratic” debate, we hosted a debate party in our home and I actually stood up and gave a speech to the 40 people in attendance about Bernie or Bust. The response was overwhelmingly negative and I told my audience that I agreed with them, but that I felt the pledge had some merit. Following the third debate I came out publicly as Bernie or Bust and begin pushing the agenda that we live and die with Bernie Sanders. As most of my friends were hardcore Democrats, many distanced themselves from me and many said that they felt like I had joined a cult.

My best friend, always seeing the bigger picture, said

“Hey. I feel like you have become kind of radical, but I am fully aware that sometimes it takes radicals to get things done.”

My personal life fell to pieces, but I didn’t care. I believed in the concept with all my heart and accepted that it was an absolute necessity if we were ever going to be taken seriously by the “Democratic” Party. The importance of the movement was to insure a fair primary election for Bernie Sanders. The idea being that we would vote for Bernie Sanders and ONLY Bernie Sanders to present the “Democratic” Party with a dilemma, nominate Bernie Sanders, because he is the ONLY one we will vote for.

I begin daily discussions with people on why I felt that it was important that they publicly declare that they are Bernie or Bust. I organized events locally and traveled to other cities spreading the word. I was interviewed by Vox, Fox News, The Washington Post and several other corporate media outlets. Each time I was offered face time, I used it to promote one thing and one thing only, the idea that millions of us were ABSOLUTELY 100% DEDICATED TO VOTING FOR BERNIE SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT AND ONLY BERNIE SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT.

When I said that I was Bernie or Bust, I meant it.

The problem is, it seems like I am one of very few who did.

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So what took me from being a Hillary supporter in 2015 to “throwing my vote away” in 2016?

Firstly, I began to actually pay attention to Hillary Clinton and started probing under the surface of what corporate media had been telling me about her for years. In 2015 all I knew about Hillary was that she was pro-choice and pro-LBGT rights. I also knew that she once fought valiantly for universal healthcare. And I’m not going to lie, the fact that she was a woman and a Democrat were important to me as well. It’s embarrassing that our country has never had a female president. I considered Hillary’s gender a bonus. In short, I was a typical head-in-the-sand Hillary Clinton supporter.

The more I learned about her, the more I realized that I could never vote for her. The more I learned about the “Democratic” Party, the more I realized that my commitment to only vote for Bernie Sanders was not only necessary, but it was the only way to use my voice in this vacuum of lies and deceit.

Watching the “Democratic” Party attack and deceive Bernie Sanders radicalized me. I literally devoted my entire life to spreading this message. Over and over again I told people

“You can’t bluff. You have to mean it. Because if we go back on our commitment, the Dems will just repeat their transgressions in future elections. You have to vote for Bernie Sanders even if he is not on the ballot. That’s the only power we have.”

I promoted the idea that we all meet in Philadelphia at the “Democratic” National Convention to show the DNC first hand that we were serious. Our message was simple. “We will ONLY vote for Bernie Sanders! We will accept NO SUBSTITUTES!”

They built a wall to keep us out.

They didn’t take us seriously.

They laughed in our faces.

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As our movement gathered momentum it was very clear that it was about more than just supporting this great man who had fought for our rights for 40+ years. It was literally a fight to reclaim Democracy itself. By promising to vote for Sanders and ONLY Sanders we were taking a stand against the sociopathic elitist class that had been causing pain and misery since the dawn of time. We were drawing a line in the sand and refusing to back down. We were here to change the world and nothing was going to stop us.

As Hillary Clinton remained in hiding, Sanders solidified our commitment by tirelessly touring the country telling everyone that the time for change was now. Sanders would fly coach into a new city (because he didn’t want to abuse our donations by wasting money on first-class) and give a speech, then go out into the parking lot and give another speech for all the people who could not get into the arena, then he would jump on a plane and repeat the process.

Sanders was always working, so we kept working. We collected ballot signatures in the snow and freezing rain. We were called communists. We had our vehicles and homes defaced. We were physically attacked. But it didn’t matter. If Bernie didn’t stop, we didn’t stop. We canvassed scary neighborhoods in states we had never been to before. We talked to thousands of voters of every background.

Sometimes a Hillary supporter would ask…

“If Hillary wins, you will vote for Hillary, right?”

I would always say..

“In my capacity as a canvasser, it is not up to me to talk about my personal political beliefs, but personally I am pledged to vote for Bernie Sanders only. I cannot support a system that is rigged against him.”

This would anger the Hillary supporters every single time. I received so many lectures, so many fingers in my face. I remember one guy pulling his wife away, because she had gotten so worked up that I truly believe that she was going to strike me. As he guided her inside, he turned to me and mouthed

“If Bernie isn’t on the ballot in November, I’m writing him in.”

“Me too.” I mouthed back.

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“But Mike, don’t you realize that they will throw your vote away?”

Absolutely I do! In fact I’m counting on it. But let’s be clear about how the this works. They WILL hand-count my ballot and record it. All the down-ballot candidates will be credited towards their totals. So I am only “throwing away” one part of my vote, the part that is asking me which sexual predator I prefer in the White House. Throwing my vote in a trashcan certainly has more dignity than voting for either of these atrocious criminals.

Some will say that I should break my promise and vote for a third-party candidate instead. While I support others who want to do that, it will not have the same effect. A vote for Bernie Sanders is absolutely symbolic. It is a message to the “Democrats” that we don’t want the candidate that they forced down our throats. It is a message that we do not support election fraud. It is a message that you can cheat your way into the White House, but you can’t silence our movement.

If millions of people keep their word and write-in Bernie Sanders then it makes a massive statement to the DNC. In fact, it would be the largest single-day protest in our nation’s history.

But my vote for Bernie Sanders is more than just a protest. I want to honor Bernie Sanders for his lifetime of commitment to fighting for Progressive values. I want to thank Bernie Sanders for the movement that he started that will never end. I will probably only have one chance to vote for this great man in the entirety of my life and I will not pass up on this opportunity. On November 8, I hope that everyone who knows that Bernie Sanders was cheated by the “Democrats” will make a YUGE statement by writing Bernie Sanders name on their ballot.

I want the corporate media to be forced to announce that “we won’t know the real winner of the election for a few days, because tens of millions of write-in votes have to be tallied and that could take several days.” In my wildest dreams I imagine that Bernie Sanders receives more write-in votes than Trump or Clinton receives ballot votes. I’d love to see the nation recognize that Bernie Sanders is the people’s choice, even as Hillary Clinton takes the throne that she cheated to obtain. Let it be a reminder to her each time Sanders puts legislation before her that she may have the title, but Sanders has the people.

If you have somehow rationalized voting for someone else, after you promised yourself that you would vote for Bernie Sanders, I submit that as the years pass, you will regret this decision more and more. On the day Bernie Sanders takes his final breath, I want to be able to say that in my one chance I had to vote for him, I took it.

Everyone else in America can be swayed by the political winds. But when I said that I was voting for Bernie Sanders and ONLY Bernie Sanders, I meant it.

I hope that you did too.

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