The Ancient Wool Dogs of the Pacific Northwest, and Me

The Wool Dog, of the Pacific Northwest, was considered a myth. Until now. Recent anthropological studies confirm that, over 17,000 years ago, the Salish Sea indigenous people bred a smallish, and possibly whitish, domestic dog in order to use its wooly fur.

The people sheared the special coats of the Wool Dog breed and used the luxurious fur to weave warm, beautiful blankets. The blankets became so cherished, far and wide, they turned into a highly prosperous trade commodity. The Wool Dogs, who made the first North American blanket industry possible, were considered very valuable.

Below, you can see what the Wool Dog may have looked like. From the painting, it seems like they lived comfortably indoors with humans, in contrast to other dogs who performed sentry duty out-of-doors in a harsh, damp climate.

In “A Woman Weaving a Basket,” Paul Kane painted what he imagined a Wool Dog might have looked like.

The heyday of the Wool Dog blanket industry, and its wooly dogs, enjoyed a long run. But the arrival of European textiles in the 19th Century put them out of business. Only a few tatters of Wool Dog blankets remain today, stored at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The Wool Dogs are extinct.

The story of the Wool Dogs is both fascinating and sad. It’s tragic to lose any noble dog breed. It’s fascinating to discover the unique canine history of Wool Dogs.

But the Wool Dogs also stir my personal interest. You see, I think I’ve found my genealogical roots. I’ve been called a “wooly” mop-dog many times, whenever I need a grooming. And, let’s face it, my fur would make great sweaters… maybe for sentry dogs who work in the cold…

Chester: dead ringer for a wooly Wool Dog.

~ Chester reports “The Canine News & Views”

Read more about the wool dogs here: “Study Shows Ancient Americans Bred Dogs for Their Wool.”


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The ‘National Popular Vote Interstate Compact’ Is Vital to Democracy & We Have the Power to Make It Happen

Progressive Graffiti contributor, Real Representation, presents a powerful argument for the
National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Updated: December 16, 2020

Editor’s Note: Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election with 307 electoral votes and surpassed Donald Trump by nearly 7 million popular votes. Yet the loser of the race jangled the nerves of Americans, for at least a month following the General Election, with plots that involved “faithless” College Electors and/or state legislators who could selectively re-create elector slates. Americans must block an undemocratic, malleable Electoral College, and we have the power to do it. Say “hello” to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.


The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is a vital step toward a stronger American democracy. The NPVIC is designed to ensure that the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide is elected president, without the need to amend the Constitution.

The Problem of Unpopular Presidents

There’s a problem when unpopular candidates win an election. For instance, five sitting Presidents have lost the popular vote, two of them in this century.

  • 1824: John Quincy Adams
  • 1876: Rutherford B. Hayes
  • 1888: Benjamin Harrison
  • 2000: George W. Bush
  • 2016: Donald Trump

It may happen more frequently, from now on. Some political pundits predict that no Republican President will ever win the popular vote again. It could have easily happened again, in 2020, which was a fairly close election.

Electors Elect the President, Not the Voters

Article II, Section 1, Clauses 2 through 4, of the U.S. Constitution prescribe how the President is elected. “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” The District of Columbia, as of 1961, is also granted electors. As if it were a state, thanks to the 23rd Amendment, D.C. is currently represented by three electors.

When we vote for President, we are really voting for a slate of electors from our state to be chosen by our candidate’s party.

Determining the Number of Electors Per State

The Formula for Determining the Number of Electors Per State (No. of Representatives + 2 Senators) is grossly undemocratic. States with large populations are under-represented in the Electoral College. To illustrate, let’s compare California with Wyoming.

  • California: Population 39,747,267 – each Senator represents 19,873,633 people
  • Wyoming: Population 572,381 – each Senator represents 286,190 people
  • California: 53 congressional districts – each Representative represents about 749,948 people
  • Wyoming: one congressional district – one Representative represents 572,381 people

Votes by electors from different states are unequal.

But that’s not even the worst part. The worst part of our Electoral College system is winner-take-all. All the states, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, have a “winner-take-all” system in which the candidate with the most votes in the state gets all the electoral votes. If a candidate can eek out a narrow win in a few closely divided states, he can win the presidency while losing the popular vote. The 2016 election is the perfect example. Just 4 states made the difference for Trump. These same four states were also predicted to make the difference in 2020.

In 2016, Donald Trump won with a total of 304 electoral votes. Only 270 electoral votes are needed to win. Trump won four states with a margin of 1.2 percent, or less. Hillary Clinton lost with 227 electoral votes, yet she won the nationwide popular vote by 2,868,686 votes.

Clinton only needed 43 more electoral votes, out of 75:

ClintonTrump
Total
Votes%EVsVotes%EVsVotes
WI1,382,53646.45%1,405,28447.22%102,787,820
MI2,268,83947.27%2,279,54347.50%164,548,382
PA2,926,44147.46%2,970,73348.18%205,897,174
FL4,504,97547.82%4,617,88649.02%299,122,861
TOTAL75
2016 Electoral College Votes in battleground states — Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump

What Are the Solutions?

Are there solutions to prevent a candidate, who wins the popular vote, from losing the election? Yes. There are two.

The first solution is to amend the Constitution, which would provide for direct election of the President by the voters on a nationwide basis. However, there is a problem. It’s hard as hell to amend the Constitution.

An amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate, and ratification by three-fourths of the states. The process may be lengthy. For instance, the 27th Amendment took 202 years to ratify, and it took 14 years to repeal Prohibition. The process may also be partisan. Indeed, in our hyper-partisan political climate, it’s prudent to note that (barring results of the Georgia Senate runoff race on January 5, 2021) Republicans currently control more than half of the U.S. Senate and 29 of the 50 state legislatures.

The second solution is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). It’s main benefit? No constitutional amendment is necessary. The Electoral College remains, but is used to achieve the same result as direct election of the President. There is one big challenge, though. We need to get enough states, to comprise at least 270 electoral votes, in order to activate the NPVIC .

What is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?

What, exactly, is the NPVIC? The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an agreement among participating states, and the District of Columbia. They agree to award all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote (from all 50 states and the District of Columbia).

The legal basis for NPVIC is in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, which directs each state to appoint its electors “in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” For smooth logistics, there are conditions to meet.

NPVIC will go into effect only when enough states, and the District of Columbia, have joined the agreement in order to comprise the 270 electoral votes needed to elect a President. Until the compact’s conditions are met, all states award electoral votes in their current manner. Meanwhile, the compact mandates a July 20th deadline every presidential election year, in order to determine whether the agreement goes into effect for that particular election. A participating state may withdraw from the compact, as long as it does so before the deadline.

15 States and D.C. Have Enacted the NPVIC

15 States, plus the District of Columbia, have already enacted the NPVIC:

StateDate AdoptedElectoral Votes
MarylandApril 10, 200710
New JerseyJanuary 13, 200814
IllinoisApril 7, 200820
HawaiiMay 1, 20084
WashingtonApril 28, 200912
MassachusettsAugust 4, 201011
District of ColumbiaDecember 7, 20103
VermontApril 22, 20113
CaliforniaAugust 8, 201155
Rhode IslandJuly 12, 20134
New YorkApril 15, 201429
ConnecticutMay 24, 20187
ColoradoMarch 15, 20199
DelawareMarch 28, 20193
New MexicoApril 3, 20195
OregonJune 12, 20197
TOTAL196
Percent of needed 270 EVs72.60%
15 states have joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, as of October, 2020.

Several states took favorable action toward the NPVIC in 2020:

StateEVsSessionHouseSenateStatus
Maine42019–20Passed 77–69Insisted 21–14Failed
Minnesota102019–20Passed 73–58Not votedFailed
New Hampshire42019–20In committeePending
Ohio182019–20In committeePending
Pennsylvania202019–20In committeePending
South Carolina92019–20In committeePending
Virginia132020–21Passed 51–46Postponed until 2021Pending
TOTAL78
7 states made partial legislative progress toward NPVIC.

Several more states attempted some action on NPVIC in 2020, without any progress:

StateEVsSessionHouseSenateStatus
Florida292020Died in committeeDied in committeeFailed
Georgia162019-20Died in committeeFailed
Kansas62019-20Died in committeeFailed
Mississippi62020Died in committeeFailed
Missouri102020Died in committeeFailed
North Carolina152019-2020Died in committeeFaled
West Virginia52020Died in committeeFailed
Wisconsin102019-20Died in committeeDied in committeeFailed
TOTAL97
8 state legislatures took up NPVIC, without any success.

The Biggest Myth About the Electoral College

The biggest myth about the Electoral College is that it somehow helps the small states. However, the small states (13 states with only three or four electoral votes) are the most disadvantaged and ignored group of states under the current system. Political power in presidential elections comes from being one of the few closely divided battleground states with a significant number of electoral votes. None of the small states meet those criteria. The “small state” story has survived, but not the context in which it originated.

Counting Slaves as 3/5 People

Counting slaves as people is how the Electoral College originally helped small states. Slave states were the “small” states, with small numbers of white people, but large numbers of black people. Slave states wanted their slaves to count as people for apportionment purposes. In 1787, slave states argued for a much larger number of votes in the House of Representatives, than if only white people were counted. The Three-Fifths Compromise was the result of this dispute. Since the number of electors for a state is the sum of 2 (number of senators) + the number of representatives, slave states also gained a much larger number of Electoral College votes under the Three-Fifths Compromise. Slave states thereby held a huge advantage in choosing the President.

Today, with no slaves to count as people, the Electoral College offers no significant help to amplify the political power of small states. The Electoral College is merely an anachronism, and a legacy of slavery.

Every Vote Should Be Equal

Every vote in America should be equal. Whether you choose to live in Vermont, or in Texas, your vote should be equal to every other vote in the United States. That’s the essence of democracy.

And if every vote were equal, so-called “battleground states” would no longer dominate every presidential election cycle. Presidential candidates would have more reason to campaign in all 50 states — and, hopefully, get to know the entire country better.

How to Outsmart an Electoral College

What can you do to help outsmart an old, obsolete Electoral College?

First, the National Popular Vote website makes it easy for you to exert an immediate impact. It’ll help you send your state legislators a quick email that asks them to support the proposed National Popular Vote bill.

Then, you might consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. The National Popular Vote website highlights specific NPVIC points that can be included in your letter. Since Trump’s 2020 machinations to influence the Electoral College, it’s particularly important to alert local newspaper readers to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which provides an effective solution to protect presidential elections and our democracy. (Change always begins at the local grassroots level.)

If you have any spare time or money, you can volunteer to help the National Popular Vote movement and/or make a donation.

The National Popular Vote website is filled with pertinent information, including answers to the many myths about the Electoral College. Take a look-see. View the following video, too. Share these resources and talk about the NPVIC with your friends.

We have the power to block an undemocratic, obsolete Electoral College.

All about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

The NPVIC Fight Continues

December 16, 2020

Single-term President Donald Trump created national chaos by refusing to accept the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. Over 56 Trump-supporting lawsuits challenged President Elect Joe Biden’s win. Most of the legal cases were dismissed for lack of standing or lack of evidence.

Trump’s non-concession strategy also targeted state Republican lawmakers, in an effort to persuade them to nullify and replace state electors with pro-Trump electors. Worried such a tactic might be possible, Americans experienced a growing awareness that the Electoral College does more to protect partisan politics than democracy.

As a result, more people are talking about reforming or abolishing the Electoral College. John Koze, chair of National Popular Vote, appeared on Democracy Now! to discuss the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

“John Koza, chair of National Popular Vote, says the chaos of the 2020 election is further proof that the United States should abandon the Electoral College system as it is currently constituted and elect presidents by popular vote instead. “‘he flaws of the current system have become more and more apparent to people,’ he says.” ~ Democracy Now


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“Hello” Again From Progressive Graffiti

Dear Readers,

You may have wondered where I’ve been.

First, I updated the site’s design. It required a load of time, and brain burn, to iron out the resulting problems that were generated. After extensive searching and experimentation, I found a satisfactory theme (actually, the great “Neve” WordPress theme), and restored search engine optimization (SEO) and lightening-fast page loads. Yea!

Then, I got a stomach ache. The lower-right part of my abdomen began to feel strained, even painful. I decided to wait 24 hours, to allow this ailment enough time to go away. However. Appendicitis does NOT go away. An inflamed appendix needs to be surgically removed. TIP: Giving your infected appendix enough time to rupture… is a bad, bad mistake. If you survive, it means a longer hospital stay and a very unpleasant recovery. (I spare you the details.) But the wonderful news is that modern medical intervention was successful, my lifespan has been officially extended, and I’m now feeling pretty darn good. Look: I’m blogging!

Finally, I signed up for “The Nation Festival.” It starts in 10 minutes and lasts through Saturday. What is this digital conference all about? It aims to build synergy throughout the progressive movement. Or, as the tagline says, “Reimagining America.” Speakers include everyone from Senator Bernie Sanders (my hero), to Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir (also a crime fiction aficionado), to travel guru Rick Steves (I love his travel documentaries and knew he had to be a progressive!) Follow the festival, with the video below:

Editorial director and publisher of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel, launches Day 1 of “The Nation Festival.”

Soon, and very soon indeed, you may expect meaningful Progressive Graffiti updates to resume at JoAnnChateau.com. Be on the lookout for an important article about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, from contributor Real Representation. And don’t miss my clever meme about worker-owned co-ops. It’s all good.

Health, Peace, Prosperity, and Joy to Everyone!
JoAnn ❤️


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10 Progressive Peace Resolutions and 5+ Audacious Peace Activist Groups

LAST UPDATED: October 13, 2020

Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

~ John Lennon

CodePink Updates Peace Resolutions

Peace activist group, CodePink, updated its ten peace resolutions — in time for the 2020 presidential debates. The ten peace positions are listed below, for quick reading.

You may note the interconnectedness between world peace and humanitarian rights, climate action, economic justice, and the role of Big Money in politics. Please share CodePink’s video, in order to help more people connect the dots that surround America’s role in global peace.

Americans have an opportunity to vote for peace, when presidential candidates uphold peace resolutions.

10 Peaceful Positions for Presidents

Here’s the written list of CodePink’s ten impactful peace resolutions (from the above video). They’re peaceful positions that a peace-seeking presidential candidate will likely endorse.

  1. Reduce military spending, invest at home: transition from military to peace-based jobs.
  2. End wars, use diplomacy and international law. Stop supporting the Saudi war on Yemen. End sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba.
  3. Work for a nuclear-free world: Cut U.S. nuclear arsenal, remove missile defense systems from Europe, and end NATO expansion.
  4. End weapons sales to human rights violators: Stop giving or selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and Israel.
  5. Close the nearly 800 U.S. military bases: in more than 70 countries and territories abroad.
  6. Grow a green local peace economy: respect people and planet. Enact the Green New Deal and a New Peace Deal.
  7. End support for Israel’s war on Palestinians: hold Israel accountable for violating international law and Palestinian human rights.
  8. Promote women in peacemaking: uphold U.N.Res #1325 to involve women in preventing, resolving, and recovering from conflict.
  9. Stop militarization of the border and police: stop attacking migrants, refugees, and criminalizing communities of color.
  10. No campaign donations from weapons companies: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Elbit Systems, etc.

It’s time to disempower the military industrial complex. It’s time for a foreign policy that is based on diplomacy and international law, not war. We must make presidential candidates talk about peace, and stand for peace — so Americans can vote for peace.

Audacious Peace Activist Groups

Do you support world peace? Then let your voice be amplified. Join and/or support peace organizations, in order to exert a denser impact against war. After all, it’s pretty audacious for the Little Guys and Gals to take on Big Guns. It’s so David vs. Goliath. But standing together multiplies our strength and powers anti-war endeavors that have impact.

Five audacious peace activist groups are listed below, for starters. Any of them are worthy of your attention, support, and involvement. If your favorite peace group is missing, tell us about them in the comment section at the end of this article. They may even be added to the list.

  1. CodePink – Is an audacous “women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.” Very few anti-war activists proceed with the style and tongue-in-cheek humor of CodePink. They’re also known for skillfully sneaking into Congressional hearings and raising a pink stink, as they’re forced from the premises or arrested. CodePink thinks men look particularly strong in pink, and welcomes them to join the fight for peace.
  2. The Elders – Is a peace resolution group “founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007… [they are] independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights… [and] engage with global leaders and civil society at all levels to resolve conflict and address its root causes…” For example, former President Jimmy Carter hasn’t spent all his retirement on building houses for humanity; for many years, he has also volunteered his time and diplomatic expertise to The Elders. Basically, the Elders stand ready to provide diplomatic mediation when involved parties invite them to facilitate peaceful resolutions. How audacious that old, retired people continue working — not even for money, but for the mission of peace.
  3. Friends Committee on National Legislation – Is a pacifist group with the nerve to get involved with lobbying. They follow a “multi-faceted approach [toward peace and justice that] draws on the expertise of registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C., the commitment and passion of people around the country… and [cultivated relationships] with elected officials and community leaders.” At the FCNL website, you’ll find an audacious quote from A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying by Margery Post Abbott: “Quakers live with paradox: They are law-abiding people, but they wrote the book on civil disobedience.”
  4. Peace Action – Join this group’s audacious email list. Regular people are empowered to make direct contact with their own elected officials on the topic of government foreign policy. There are usually several peace campaigns going on at the same time, ranging from nuclear disarmament to Pentagon spending. Want to get more involved? There may be a local chapter near you.
  5. Veterans for Peace – Is a group of warriors, who may surprise some people, because they audaciously want to end war. They’ve been “exposing the true costs of war and militarism since 1985… Veterans For Peace is a global organization of military veterans and allies dedicated to building a culture of peace by using [their] unique experiences as veterans… [They] also recognize that [they] have an obligation to heal the wounds of war, not only among… fellow veterans but also the wounds that… war-making has affected around the globe.”
  6. Win Without War – Is a “diverse network of activists and organizations working for a more peaceful, progressive U.S. foreign policy. They have the audacity to believe in the coming of an “American foreign policy that favors peace, not militarism.”
  7. World Beyond War – Is “a global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace… to advance the idea of not just preventing any particular war but abolishing the entire institution… to replace a culture of war with one of peace in which nonviolent means of conflict resolution take the place of bloodshed.” Serious about anti-war education, WBW provides an audacious online curriculum of peace courses.

Everyone, jump on the peace train!

~ Cat Stevens

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People’s Convention for a Democracy-Driven Political Party

Sunday, August 30, 2020, 4:00 PM Eastern: Movement for a People’s Party hosts the People’s Convention. Be there (digitally), or be square. 🙂 Register now.


Big Money Causes Problems

The United States has many problems to solve. To name a few: racism, runaway inequality, public health issues, and the climate emergency. Experts have already thought of numerous solutions that can fix these maladies. Instead of wallowing in denial, we should be debating which solutions to implement — and how. But there’s a huge obstacle that blocks America from taking meaningful action to solve problems.

That obstacle is Big Money in politics. It creates conflicts of interest in the hearts and minds of our legislators. Big Money not only rewards OUR representatives for passing legislation that favors wealthy special interests, but it punishes elected officials who won’t go along with an anti-democratic, corporate-driven agenda.

It’s no secret that most Republican AND Democratic Congress Members accept Big Money campaign donations and Big Money favors. That’s how do-nothing politicians accumulate impressive wealth during office, and why they stay in office for decades.

If only we had a political party that nipped corruption in the bud — by refusing to accept Big Money donations and favors, by refusing to dance with Big Money billionaires and corporate overlords. Bernie Sanders hailed such a concept as “political revolution,” and proved it could be done! Both his presidential campaigns refused corporate money. He raised abundant campaign funding from millions of small donations given by real people (not corporate entities the Supreme Court declares are “people”).

Major New Party FREE of Big Money

It just so happens… Former National Political Outreach Coordinator for Bernie Sanders, Nick Brana, founded the Movement for a People’s Party shortly after Bernie lost the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, as a result of DNC machinations to rig the primary for Hillary Clinton.

At first, Brana called his new organization “Draft Bernie for a People’s Party.” He believed a new third party could be quickly and successfully launched if it had a well-known, dynamic, influential politician on the ticket. Brana hoped Bernie Sanders would run for President in 2020 under the new party’s banner. However, Bernie could not be lured in. (Sanders abhors the possibility of being a spoiler candidate.)

Eventually, the group’s name was adjusted to “Movement for a people’s party.” They’ve been plugging away for the last four years. They tell me they “prefer the term ‘major new party’ over ‘third party,’ as the latter validates the corporate duopoly.” Well, that just makes sense!

Now, Movement for a People’s Party takes party building to the next level. They’re holding a digital People’s Convention tomorrow, Sunday, August 30, 2020, at 4:00 PM Eastern. Register now. Participants will be able to vote on forming a major new political party that is FREE of Big Money and its corrupting influence. If you’re unable to participate, catch the People’s Convention on MPP’s YouTube Channel afterwards.

An opportunity to support a major new democracy-driven People’s Party.

The speaker line-up is amazing. It includes Nina Turner, Cornel West, Lee Camp, Chase Iron Eyes, Marianne Williamson, Gov. Jesse Ventura, Sen. Mike Gravel, former progressive candidates Isaiah James, Lauren Ashcroft, and Maebe A Girl, Tim Black, Chris Hedges, creative activist Eleanor Goldfield, my favorite peace activist Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, founder Nick Brana (of course!), and many more luminaries from the progressive justice movement.

Like I said, be there, or be square. 🙂 Register here.


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A Not-So-Proud July Fourth Message

I’m not celebrating the Fourth of July this year, and I don’t mind. I’m going nowhere nonessential, until the COVID-19 crisis is over! Besides, I’m not so proud of my country right now. The United States is climate-emergency complicit. It failed to implement well-known pandemic best practices. Jeff Bezos is richer than ever, while major portions of the country tumble down a plunging economic spiral. Police Violence is uglier than ever, which their treatment of #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd protesters proves.

Normally, I don’t contemplate the misery of others in order to feel better about my own situation. But this Fourth of July, I’m going to engage in that practice. There were times in American history when people had it worse than we do: African American slavery; the Trail of Tears; worker exploitation, including child labor; robber barons and gross economic inequality that led to The Great Depression; the 1960s assassinations and Kent State Massacre; etc. (Notice these soul-breaking trials resulted not from foreign aggression, but from the consequences of our own character flaws.)

[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”sqtemenyig” question=”What are your current feelings about America?” opened=”0″][/wpdiscuz-feedback]

So I remember dark times in American history, because we’re in one right now. If the nation survived earlier tragic epochs, maybe we can survive today’s calamities. Maybe current atrocities will push us to advance and evolve. Greater minds than mine are open to the possibility.

The following media may spark hope in the weariest patriotic heart.

‘What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?’: Descendants Read Frederick Douglass’ Speech | NPR

The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” ~ NPR

Learning from Eugene Debs’ Mission | Bernie Sanders

The Purpose of a Democracy

My own words, and those of Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, allude to the parenting role of a democratic people.

I believe we may still raise our government up to behave like a responsible adult — by using a fair measure of tough love. Protest! Protest! Protest!

Happy Fourth of July.


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Join Public Citizen’s Gala Benefit for a COVID-19 Intervention

Public Citizen is hosting a gala benefit (online) for a full-fledged COVID-19 response intervention. Celebrity guests galore! (Including comedians!) The event streams live on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 8:00 PM Eastern. Click the link to RSVP. Be there, or be square!

FEATURING: Lewis Black, Phoebe Bridgers, Steve Earle, Pramila Jayapal, Paula Poundstone, Sarah Silverman, Kandace Springs, Ray Romano, and Elizabeth Warren

What does Public Citizen have to do with COVID-19? It’s fighting for all the following interventions to help everyone make it through the coronavirus pandemic, in one piece.

  • Urgent Funding for States to Implement Vote-By-Mail Programs
  • Guaranteed Access to Healthcare
  • Expanded Federal Funding for Testing and Tracing
  • No IP/Patent Restrictions on COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Federal Government Commitment to Manufacturing a Vaccine
  • Relief Funds that Benefit People, Not Corporations
  • Bailout Funding Free of Corruption and Ethics Violations
  • No Regulatory Rollbacks
  • No Blanket Liability Shields for Corporations
  • Tighter IRS Oversight of Political Spending

Eager to support and fund Public Citizen’s war on COVID-19? Then join the gala event this Thursday, share clips with your friends, and donate a little money if you can. Together, we can accomplish anything!


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Strengthening Voices In These Hard Times

If you feel weighed down and constrained by COVID-19 and police violence, take strength. These issues are putting activists on the same page. Together, we exponentially increase our power, and ARE changing the world. Below, are some of the strengthening voices I heard this week…

Taking the Knee

Matt Orfalea, “independent media beast,” illuminates why Colin Kaepernick chose to “take a knee” in 2016 to protest police violence against black people. A particular military veteran had a lot to do with it.

“Maybe there’s a different way to show more respect.”

The Spiritual Health of Our Country

Marianne Williamson ran for President in 2020. Her platform centered on a national moral and spiritual awakening. Anand Giridharadas interviewed her the other day. She explains that American people are intelligent and decent, yet need to be given the opportunity to do the right thing. What blocks such an opportunity? Watch, and find out. Williamson lucidly ties all the spiritual and systemic loose ends together.

“This is not the first time we’ve had terrible chaos.”

Movement for a People’s Party

You hear a lot of people calling for a third party. Nick Brana has been working on that for four years! He founded Movement for a People’s Party in 2016, right after Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic nomination. Hard Lens Media interviewed Brana the other day, and we learn that coalitions are building!

Our Revolution Los Angeles announced they’re going to join us.”

Voices of the Poor Rise Up

Rev. William Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign have been planning the June 20th “Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington” for a year and a half. Due to the corona crisis, the march is NOT cancelled — it’s going digital! Rev. Barber talks about the issues and the goals with Tim Black.

“Democracy is trying to breathe.”

Lifelong Activist Protests Police Violence

At age 75, Martin Gugino joined the Albany, NY protest against police violence — though he feared being “pummelled.” Indeed, police officers brutally pushed him to the ground, where his head cracked on the pavement. TYT host Cenk Uygur reveals Gugino’s history as a lifelong activist.

As of Friday evening, Gugino was still hospitalized, in stable condition.

“He’s a hero for quietly fighting for you — all this time.”

Again, all this is just to say… If you feel weighed down and constrained, take strength. Bright lights in many long, good fights are converging NOW.


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