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.)

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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. Newsletter

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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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Digital Gathering for Justice: “RISE” on June 20th

June 20, 2020: Join Rev. William Barber, and the Poor People’s Campaign, for a national digital gathering to demand a national moral revival. The event is called “RISE.” If you want to be involved, follow this link to RSVP. You don’t need to be particularly poor, black, or American to support the cause.

With everything going on now, an especially large and diverse group will gather, digitally, in order to lift up democracy and justice for all…

The COVID-19 pandemic exposes the depth of economic injustice in our so-called “wealthy” country. Poor people deserve fair, living wages (and safe working conditions) for the necessary work they perform. Anything less is robbery. The Poor People’s Campaign is not about “helping” people. It’s about justice.

The deaths of black people at the hands of murderous police officers, or neighborhood lynching crews, are no longer being tolerated. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd has launched massive protests nationwide and across the world.

The “RISE” digital gathering is all this and more. It’s about #BlackLivesMatter and people power. It’s about American democracy. It’s about liberty and justice for all.

Poor People Will “Rise” and Be Heard

“Rise” | June 20th Poor People’s Campaign Promo

About the Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign continues the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was organizing the original Poor People’s Campaign just before his assassination in 1968. HIs goal was to create solidarity, and power, for poor people of all races.

Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this unfinished work. From Alaska to Arkansas, the Bronx to the border, people are coming together to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. We understand that as a nation we are at a critical juncture — that we need a movement that will shift the moral narrative, impact policies and elections at every level of government, and build lasting power for poor and impacted people.

~ Poor People’s Campaign

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From The People’s Forum: ‘The New Intellectuals’ Podcast

A mini-review…

Looking for something smart and substantive to listen to? Try The New Intellectuals podcast, produced by The People’s Forum. Each month, the show interviews a cerebral author or activist who’s pushing one of our modern social and political movements — movements that serve the poor, the working-class, and the dispossessed.

If some readers are uninterested in poor, middle-class, or dispossessed people, I can only tell you what a good friend of mine always says: “They’re coming for you next.”

Truly, the fight for justice and democracy is every American’s fight. Intellectual leaders fighting on the front lines have profound insights to share with you and me. Check out The New Intellectuals Youtube playlist below.

Located in New York City, The People’s Forum is a forward-thinking organization. When you’re there sometime, you might want to visit. Here’s how they describe themselves:

We are a movement incubator for working class and marginalized communities. A space that nurtures the next generation of visionaries and organizers.

~ The People’s Forum

Thinking is fun. You’ll find more intellectually stimulating shows and podcasts on Progressive Graffiti’s leisure and culture page.

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‘Bernie Blackout’ to Premier on Vice Versa May 13

The mainstream corporate news media pulled a Bernie Sanders “blackout” during his 2020 presidential campaign. As you’d expect, folks who only consume mainstream media do not know this. (So frustrating.) Perhaps to fill the information gap, or simply because it’s a fascinating story, Vice TV is premiering the film documentary Bernie Blackout on Wednesday May 13 at 8:00 PM Eastern. Whatever the motivation, the 90-minute program will be pertinent to American democracy.

[Bernie Blackout is] an investigative deep dive into the corporate news media’s coverage of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign that asks: who actually gets a say in American politics? 

~ Vice TV
“The entire establishment came against Bernie.” ~ From Bernie Blackout

Bernie Blackout is a production from the new Vice documentary series, VICE Versa. Use the Vice TV channel finder to see if your favorite low-information friend or family member can access Vice TV via their cable provider.

If you have the opportunity to view Bernie Blackout, please share your impressions in the comment section below. We’d also love to know what conservative Democrats think of the film.

Keep your ear to the ground. Peace.

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The Fun of Tweeting Advice to the High & Mighty

I’ve begun tweeting instructive, progressive YouTube videos directly to Donald Trump, or Nancy Pelosi, or whomever. Maybe some of their followers will watch the shows, and experience a political epiphany!

My style is polite and respectful, coming across as if I innocently think he/she may be interested, and uses serious hashtags. Then I end with something like, “Show the Dems (or GOP) how to do it!” It’s just nice, clean, reverse-propaganda. An example:

I never look back, thus ignoring any and all nasty responders. I will mute, if necessary.

So far, however, it looks like I’m the one being ignored. Which must mean people are busy watching the video. That’s cool, and the anticipation of response makes it all the more fun!

A Twitter Bird flying high above the Earth.
(Please, PLEASE give my tweet a ❤️ on Twitter!)

You and I know this “instructional campaign” is tongue-in-cheek… but what the heck. It makes online activism fun. Everyone needs to have some FUN during the corona quarantine, and who doesn’t LOVE giving advice??? (Especially to the high and mighty!)

In conclusion…

Dear Readers, I hope you’re safe and well these days, and also enjoying some homemade fun. Tell us, in the comments below, how and what you’re doing during the corona stay-at-home. Don’t stay out of too much trouble!

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