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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Capital Paraders Told to “Get an Essential Job!”

I followed my neighbor to the capital parade. He put on a mask, and pulled my bandana over my nose. Everybody was looking at us. I never felt so excited — and wagged my tail harder than ever!

Then he started acting like the Pope. As people passed by, he gave each one a special word and gesture. Sometimes he offered spiritual advice. “Go get an essential job!” he would call, or “God hates dipsh*ts!” They often reciprocated with advice of their own, as if in leturical response.

Now I could see that the paraders were somberly petitioning, not celebrating. And they seemed to mean business. In fact, some of them actually said, “business should be open.” They were, obviously, parading in the open… all for the Common Good, I’m sure!

My neighbor blessed them, as they walked around and around in a circle. He probably doesn’t own a bejeweled chalice, but he did hold his precious smartphone aloft, as if to mark the sacred significance of a ceremonial procession.

Please be helpful and SHARE this Twitter video.

This crowd seriously needed to share their feelings, their opinions, their business, their germs, and well… everything! My neighbor just wants to help out. Please feel free to share his video.

~ Chester reports the Canine News & Views 🐾

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Progressive Commentators Fail to Make a Dent in Mainstream Media

Updated April 17, 2020

There are a number of online progressive pundits who joined the ever-popular Bernie Sanders Blame Game, but with a twist. Instead of blaming Bernie for the 2016 Trump win and his possible re-election, these commentators blame Bernie for losing the 2020 Democratic nomination and failing the Progressive Movement. They boldly criticize Bernie for his failure to attack Joe Biden. They deplore Bernie’s endorsement of Biden, claiming he didn’t get any progressive concessions. Rising co-host Krystal Ball went so far, as to accuse Bernie Sanders of “political malpractice.”

Well, if there’s blame to spread, online progressive media deserve their share. They failed to make a dent in the anti-progressive narrative that spews from network TV.

Cenk Uygur, founder of The Young Turks (TYT), also known as “the home of progressives,” recently said as much. “We failed,” he said. But at least it wasn’t for lack of effort on Uygur’s part. He and his co-hosts made semi-regular appearances on CNN throughout the Democratic Primary. Uygur also took a hiatus from the show, in order to personally run for Congress in California. (FYI: Uygur is an active anti-corruption crusader; his credentials go back to Wolf-PAC, a group he founded that fights to remove Big Money from politics via Constitutional amendment.) The objective, self-aware, and accomplished Cenk Uygur admitted that even he had underestimated the power of corporate media to sway political elections.

How Independent Progressive Media Can Make an Impact

Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign crashed, and the fun is over. But we still have a progressive, anti-corruption, justice movement to push forward. It would help if average Americans, most of whom over-consume cable news, knew what was really going on in the country. How can online progressive media professionals effectively counter The Establishment bias of cable TV?

But before we get to potential answers, let’s first acknowledge the enormous exertion that is required from independent political pundits. The job will be harder than campaigning as a Democratic Socialist to become U.S. President. That is, it’s next to impossible. Are progressive pundit-guru YouTubers up to the task?

Armchair Advice

Probably not, on their own. We need to do our part, by offering advice. In the spirit of helpful feedback I’ll go first, and briefly outline a few ideas that independent progressive media outlets may take to heart — in order to improve. My dear readers are encouraged to share their constructive feedback and advice in the Comments Section below. I promise to update this post, as a body of useful insight evolves.

To begin with, here’s exactly what progressive media should do…

  • Regularly spotlight democratic reforms (e.g., Ranked Choice Voting, Congressional term limits, municipal cable and Internet, etc.)
  • Support feet-in-the-street action (organized nonviolent civil disobedience)
  • Build a progressive cable network (including science shows, stand-up comedy, and drama series)
  • Increase interviews with progressive political candidates
  • Provide comprehensive news coverage (in addition to political commentary)
  • Allow a few thoughtful conservative shows in the line-up, for objectivity and breadth of information
  • Pick the brains of Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! Maybe collaborate with her…
  • Viewer funded and grants accepted from nonprofit organizations that promote democracy
  • And so on… (more details later)

Expand the Reach of Progressive Politics

The ego-soothing, self-defense Blame Game, that some online progressive gurus are playing on Bernie Sanders, is both unproductive and immature. The Left Media should focus the bulk of their critical energies on self-evaluation. They need to explore how they may expand the reach of progressive political news and commentary into the mainstream arena. A meaningful counter-perspective to corporate media propaganda is desperately needed in today’s political world.

Expanding the reach of progressive politics won’t happen overnight, but Lefty pundits can shape-up their act right now. Watch and learn. I’m ending this post with an example of mature, objective punditry. Tim Black has a mind of his own, provides even-handed criticism, AND refuses to play the Bernie Blame Game. Enjoy his video!

AP Easily Turns Some Bernie Supporters Against Bernie Sanders | Tim Black

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Bittersweet: Bernie’s Final Campaign Ad

Bernie Sanders’ last campaign ad is bittersweet. It softly closes a door. And yet, another door that remains wide open, beckons to us.

While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not. Please stay in this fight with me.

~ Bernie Sanders

Remember: Bernie Sanders remains on the ballot. If your state has not yet held its Democratic Primary, you still have an opportunity to vote for him. These votes will award more delegates to Bernie. More delegates help Bernie push for progressive policies at the Democratic Party Convention in August.


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Bernie Sanders Suspends 2020 Presidential Campaign, Continues Fight for Justice

In a dignified and thoughtful address, Bernie Sanders told his supporters today that his 2020 presidential campaign is suspended. He spoke for about ten minutes. His words were selfless. He emphasized the continuing progressive justice movement. Only at the end, as he reflected on the beauty of the American people, did he come close to shedding a tear.

Bernie Sanders officially announces the suspension of his presidential campaign.

Though his campaign is suspended, Bernie will remain on the ballot. This allows him to accumulate as many delegates as possible, in order to impact policy negotiations at the DNC Convention in August.

I am not surprised by the news. But I am heartbroken. It’s very sad that our nation let THE politician-of-a-lifetime slip through its fingers… a second time.

Opinion: Bernie Sanders is too good for a wobbling U.S.A. Incorporated. Democratic voters opted for NO change. They WANT a President CEO to head the government. Easily impressed by business, money, and profit, these Democratic voters are blind to their own complicity in the escalating global climate emergency and an imminent economic collapse.

Facts: I’m relieved. I no longer need to worry about President Sanders getting assassinated. I’m confident. Bernie will continue building the anti-corruption justice movement for all Americans. (Whether they all appreciate it, or not.)

By virtue of a coalescing movement, Bernie Sanders will continue to guide the United States. He will do everything possible to steer our democracy through peril, and toward justice.

Admittedly, many people will still be ignorant of Bernie’s powerful political influence. After all, corporate TV supports the Elite Establishment, and isn’t going to tell their audience anything about class warfare or economic justice.

Yet I assure you, when Bernie Sanders operates under the media radar — that’s where he really gets things done. Whatever Democratic presidential candidates are anxious to promise American voters in 2024, it’ll be thanks to Bernie’s ongoing, untelevised, grassroots activism.

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