Help The Democratic Process And Your Favorite Candidates

I started my new website http://rallyandprotest.com/ with a specific goal in mind. To promote citizen inclusion in the democratic process as much as possible. To achieve this, it is intended to be a central website where anyone from any partyany social movement can spread awareness at a reasonable cost, from local to national. No such site exists anywhere else. If you seek information on rallies and protests right now, any information you find will be specific to a single party, candidate or organization.

If you go to the message board on the site, you’ll see that pricing is reasonable and at the moment I am running a special of 4 event listings for the price of 1 to help get the site off the ground. This will run until 12/31/19. With the special, that means a protest can list their event for as little as $2.50, a sum which is basically disposable for most movements.

Users of the site and message board are not required to register to view event listings. You can register but you don’t have to. There are no ads on the site and there is no mechanism whereby I make any money from traffic to the site. In addition, the privacy policy is pretty simple. No identifiable information will be gathered, so none can be sold. Even if you register, none of your information will be sold to anyone.

If I had the financial means, the entire thing would be free. Unfortunately, that’s not a realistic option. It takes time, money and effort to create, develop, maintain and promote the site. I have not yet gotten to the stage where I can promote the site because there are no listings yet.

There is also the security aspect regarding requiring payment. Charging a fee reduces fraud and spam. Payments have to clear before a listing goes live.

I am currently contacting campaign managers for my local/state campaigns and for presidential campaigns.

This is where readers may be able to help. If you support a certain candidate at any level, belong to a social activist organization planning an upcoming event, please tell them about the site. Be sure to point out that listings will include text message updates on events free of charge. There is virtually nothing for them to lose and much potential gain in terms of visibility.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! (Not by much.)My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

I have opened my new website which is intended to be a central listing of protests and political rallies across the US. It’s still a work in progress but is functional. You can find it at http://RallyAndProtest.com

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is at https://issuesunite.com/ and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

New BIG Project- Can Use Some Help

I am starting on a new project, just conceived. In this case, I could genuinely use some help. Mostly financial but later volunteer labor and maybe technical assistance.

I bought two new web domains last night for this project and they are intended to be permanent fixtures in the political landscape.

The concept is a centralized website where protests and political rallies can be listed, by state and city. If it gets off the ground, it may expand globally. 

My plan for now is that public access will be free of charge. There will be a charge for those listing the rally or protest. This does several things- 

1- By charging a fee to those listing an event, it decreases chances of fraud. 

2- It will allow me to have more time to maintain and moderate the site. 

3- It takes the financial burden off of me directly, so the existence of the site is better insured for the future. 

4- Future enhancements and developments will be easier to finance if they incur costs.

I am sure that this will involve more cost as time goes on. Initial plans are simply for the website. Over time, those plans will include email lists and text messaging to keep attendees current on events they have expressed interest in, such as cancellation or changes to location. 

True to form with the Issues Unite concept, this will be open to any party or political group. The exceptions being hate groups of any kind. Of course, once the page gets large enough, this will require the volunteer assistance mentioned, to confirm a group is who they claim to be. 

For cost, I expect to have tiered charge levels. The most expensive being for federal elections. Next would be state, then city government officials. The lowest tier would be for protests and local municipal officials such as school boards and such. 

I am debating whether to include message boards or not. Right now, it seems best to leave that out. It would take considerably more time, effort and risk of liability to moderate message boards. This decision will be reassessed as time goes on and resources allow. 

This really is a big project and will be time consuming. Up to now, most of my time has been spent writing articles and I have not had much time and energy left after working full time, writing part time, parenting part time and spending time with my gf. Have to sleep sometime. I may divert some time away from writing to work on this because with 2020 coming up, this is the right time to develop it, at least in some crude form. So any financial assistance is truly appreciated. 

As of right now, there is no such centralized database of protests and political rallies in existence. To keep up with these things is difficult and this limits public involvement in many cases, while favoring the candidates with the largest (typically corporate funded) budgets. For protests, there have been numerous protests I would have attended but never heard of them until after they were over. None of us can have a question that corporate media and corporate-funded candidates prefer things as they are. 

I am open to further suggestions to include in the concept at some point if you have any to offer. 

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is here and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

Why Be Offended By The Term “Cult”?

A number of people have been offended by my use of the term “cult”. So, I find it somewhat necessary to delve deeper into my rationale for the use of that term. It is a term less judgmental than an honest analysis of too common behavior.

First, I want to offer a similar viewpoint by Marley K, while she refers to the same phenomenon using the term “groupthink”.In her article, she references the book by Irving L Janus, titled “Groupthink”, published in 1972. So this is not exactly a new observation. https://medium.com/@marleyk/how-social-media-encourages-groupthink-e4b4b2f2a5f8

BTW, Marley is a great writer who you should be following.

The reason for the term “cult/cult thinking/cultism” has a goal associated with it. It’s a simple goal. Spreading personal awareness. To make people examine their own behavior and attitudes critically. If a person finds the term offensive, there tends to be a reason. That they see some aspect of that term in their own behavior. I expect many people to be initially offended by the term. I probably would be, myself.

My own cultist past. The entire reason I understand this is that I have seen it in myself at times in the past on limited subjects. I was pretty much a ferocious cultist for Bernie in 2016 and truly believed. I expected him to contest the convention, which of course did not happen. never expected him to campaign for Hillary. Or do the DNC Unity Tour. Or push Russiagate.

My first use of the term. The first time I used the term “cult” was in reference to Trump supporters in 2016. Then, over time, I stepped back and realized that my own view was limited. That was when I realized that all parties are cults. Then that evolved to the understanding that all names are cultsWhich then became one of my mottoes or most often used statements.

Back to 2016 tactics. Now previous Hillbots have been using the same references they did in 2016, calling me “butthurt” and similar terms, only this time to say I should support Bernie. Because that behavior worked so well in 2016.

A candidate has to earn my vote with policies. Let me say it now. Bernie has no right to my vote. He has to earn it. Yes, you do need the true Progressive vote. So don’t start with the Hillbot behavior of saying, “We don’t need you” or “Beat Trump”. That is not enough and it’s not going to do it. That is cult thinking at it’s finest.

Definition. So let me define this. Cult thinking includes:

The conviction that “nobody is perfect” and using it as a rationale to ignore any danger involved with blindly supporting a candidate. Including such dangers as war with Russia. (Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate, anyone?)Which, as I detailed in my last article, includes the censorship of independent and social media, plus the attacks on Julian Assange. You cannot support a candidate who promotes Russiagate and support Assange, they are directly opposed to each other.

You reject any and all negative points regarding a candidate or party without reading or listening to the points being raised. You consider all negative statements to be untrue, including questions.

You consistently seek out only articles, shows and even memes which support your views.

You limit your social interactions to people that reinforce your views. Even going as far as attacking anyone with differing views. To the degree that if someone says you want to hear from all candidates, not jump into a commitment to a candidate when 2020 is still 10 months away. Not all the candidates who will be running have even announced their campaigns yet. This is a form of declaring someone a heretic for not sharing your belief system. You feel you must convert them or sacrifice them to prove your own True Faith, that you are a Believer.

When someone tries to discuss issues, you divert the subject to personal attacks on the person directly, refusing to stay on topic.

You have cognitive dissonance and may actually know it but don’t care. If someone brings up a point with documented facts, reasonable, rational questions that manage to break through, you can feel your eyes glaze over as you seek something to respond with to reaffirm your faith, not to address the evidence.

You are willing to accept “evidence” which has no proof to back it up. As long as you can quote someone who agrees with your beliefs, that is considered evidence to you and sufficient.

You will give your time, money, effort to your chosen cult without reading the fine print. You don’t need policies. Because you have been promised heaven later for your dedication today.

You quote things which the person never said, cite policies that do not exist, accomplishments which never happened. When asked to name your source, rather than provide it you tell the person asking to look it up for themselves. Because you know that will never happen again, right?

You don’t want to discuss issues. You just want to silence any and all dissent. Then call it democracy.

You are willing to harm other people or close your eyes to harm for your Faith. If someone does not Believe, they deserve what comes to them.

You criticize others for an “us versus them” or “those who are not with us are against us” mindset, yet are guilty of the same thing.

Exaggerated emotional response. Let me repeat that. Exaggerated emotionalresponse. Emotions displace critical thought. Responses from a cultist are based on emotion regarding the cult and most often include only emotion.

Summary. As you can see, people are literally turning political campaigns, parties, candidates into actual religious cults. It is too soon to even adopt a specific candidate when the primaries are over a year away, national election a full 21 months away, barely under two years!!

We already have the longest election cycle of any country on earth. That would be fine if that time were used to announce and examine policies so voters were more informed. Instead, that time is used for personal attacks by candidates and supporters. We don’t choose who is the best candidate, we choose who is the most popular. Which means some high school elections are more valid and fact-based than our official elections.

We cannot keep doing this as a nation. At ground level, this is what is destroying us as a country. If you see cult thinking in yourself, it’s okay if the statement offends you at first, that’s understandable. It’s what you do after that which matters. Watch for cult thinking in yourself and be brave enough to call it out in others when you see it. It’s difficult but necessary. If you have ever been a teacher, a leader, a manager or a parent, you know that correcting harmful behavior is unavoidable. Don’t try to be popular, don’t try to be in the “right group”. Be informed. Discuss issues and policies objectively. That is how we plan for a future.

Final note and reference. If you truly doubt my assessment above, which was written from my own knowledge of cults, then read this from an expert on cults and a former cult member. Then assess again. If you still doubt, do a web search on cult characteristics. If you find something which contradicts what I have to say, I’d be happy to hear it. http://cultresearch.org/help/characteristics-associated-with-cults/

Bern Your Progressive Card

This week Bernie Sanders announced his 2020 campaign run for president. Of course, millions of people jumped enthusiastically on board with no pause or consideration.

There is no way at this point that I can support Bernie. I know my views will be immensely unpopular but they are based on objective observation and rational thinking. I cannot base my political views or the future of this country and the planet on mere emotional response.

I give Bernie credit for his 2016 campaign and what it achieved for us. His campaign made Socialism an acceptable word for millions, after decades of indoctrination which made the word unspeakable in public. While the original ACA had suggested but never lived up to the promise of universal healthcare, Bernie’s campaign made it a dominating narrative which remains intact. He brought millions of us together who had felt isolated in our views. His campaign was the major impetus for the rise of independent media as a force to be reckoned with. New voices are being heard which would have been nearly silent otherwise.

However, it is time to move on from 2016 and face the current reality. This is a list of criticisms which cannot be denied as that reality.

Cult mindset. Of course, in true cult fashion they have since attacked anyone that does not fully support Bernie without question and if they cannot convert you, they unfriend you, block you, disown you, whatever. It doesn’t matter at all how progressive your views are, to them you are not a real Progressive unless you join the cult.

Is this sounding familiar? Is this sounding an awful lot like the Hillary campaign in 2016? Are they going to start telling us, “We don’t need you”?

Or how about, “Third parties can’t win”? That makes sense. Bernie is once again running under the DNC banner. Never mind that he is allegedly Independent. Never mind many of his claimed followers have been saying for over 2 years that we should not trust the DNC.

Donate to the DNC! Not only that but if you donate to Bernie, that donation will go through ActBlue, which is the fundraising entity of the DNC, so a percentage of each donation goes directly to the DNC and their authorized candidates. So if you give to Bernie, you are donating to Kamala Harris, Warren and maybe Biden. Have fun with that. BTW, that arrangement also means if you donate directly to his campaign and bypass ActBlue, Bernie is mandated to still pay the same percentage to the DNC. They’ve been at this a lot longer than you have and know every trick to look for.

Russiagate is being used against Bernie once again. However, that does not stop Bernie himself from pushing the Russiagate narrative still. I am making a prediction right here and now. Bernie pushing Russiagate will lose him more votes than it gains. He has pushed Russiagate to the point that he has accused his own 2016 followers of being Russian trolls or being brainwashed by Russian propaganda if they so much as questioned Hillary’s dedication to a Progressive agenda.

Danger. Russiagate comes with a long list of dangers inherent to it. Aside from the obvious risk of hot war with Russia, there is censorship. Russiagate has already been used as a rationale for corporate media to censor Progressive media. Over 600 Progressive pages were removed from Facebook and Twitter a few months ago, citing “Russia” as a rationale. Just recently, we saw In The Now blocked from Facebook and YouTube because they get part of their funding from RT.

The worst part of this is that, if Bernie does not back down from pushing Russiagate immediately, he will not be able to do so later. The fact that he has continued pushing it means he is complicit in the corporate silencing of Progressive media. The same media that hailed him in 2016 while corporate media conducted a complete blackout of his campaign unless to attack him. In other words, he has absolutely turned his back on the people who brought him to popularity and has fully embraced the Establishment narrative and corporate visibility.

At no time has Bernie broken with the Establishment narrative to suggest diplomacy with Russia and decrease tensions.

Julian Assange. The fact is, you cannot support both Bernie and Julian Assange. They are diametrically opposed. Bernie pushes Russiagate, which implicates Assange. Bernie has remained as silent on Assange as he has about election fraud in 2016. Which makes him complicit in the attacks on Assange. 

Loyalty. Some claim that in 2016 he kept a commitment. A candidate’s commitment should be to the people that supported him, that donated their money, time and effort to promote him. So yes, he kept his commitment, or rather revealed where his commitment truly resides. With the Establishment he claims to oppose.

Bernie lost no pay or benefits. Something should be noted here. Bernie never lost his job, his income or his health insurance as a result of the 2016 election. Over 7 million have lost health insurance in 2 years. Hundreds of thousands have lost jobs and/or been forced to take even lower wages than they were earning even in 2016.

Sanctions. Bernie has openly promoted sanctions on numerous occasions. I have detailed on numerous occasions that sanctions kill. Sanctions are acts of war. More so when not approved by the UNSC. Not only that but sanctions impact industries and economies of our allies. They decrease trade in those allied countries. They cause dissent with those allies which will only grow worse as long as we continue imposing unilateral sanctions on other countries. Bernie has not suggested even lifting sanctions which do not have UNSC approval, he has supported unilaterally imposed sanctions by the US Empire.

Drones. Bernie has publicly supported US drone strikes in other countries. While drone strikes reduce the physical risk to US personnel, they still cause massive loss of innocent lives and PTSD for drone pilots. Not to mention the fact that the average cost of a missile launched from a drone is $80,000, which does not include the cost of the drone, itself.

Independent media. I mentioned above that his 2016 campaign was a major impetus for the rise of independent media. However, it was not the only thing which drove that rise. Independent media was already in existence and increasing in popularity before 2016. His campaign accelerated that rise and drove the motivation for new voices, including my own to a point. On the other hand, he has not exactly been a staunch supporter on social media. Jimmy Dore is a very strong public fan of Bernie’s who has invited Bernie on his show numerous times. Bernie has not only not accepted the offer but last I heard had not even responded to the invitation. RT was the only major broadcast channel to cover his 2016 campaign yet Bernie did not accept invitations to appear on RT, either. Some shows such as TYT claim to be Progressive but are actually known neoliberal sources that support the DNC blindly and spout Russiagate as frequently as Rachel Maddow. If he appeared on those shows and not Jimmy Dore or Thom Hartmann, that says a lot in and of itself. Though Thom endorsed Hillary, which should not be forgotten.

It is not 2020. I’ve pointed this out before and do so again. It is not 2020 yet. 2020 is still 10 months away. To fervently adopt a candidate with no room allowed for questioning is not making an informed choice. It is an emotional fixation, nothing more. Too many people are turning this into nothing short of a religion. There is little or no objective, rational thinking involved in such a decision.

So, I expect a lot of hate messages over this. Do your worst. It’s really nothing I have not suffered through by Hillary or Trump supporters. You can try and tell yourself you’re different but when you support one candidate without waiting for debates, not waiting for policies to be laid out, remain blind to the dangers and even accept those dangers willingly, you are no different at all. Look in the mirror and accept that. You have become the very thing you once raged against.