Policies- Tulsi Gabbard

I am writing this because too many people seem actively averse to actually looking up the candidates pages and reading the policies for themselves. Maybe if those policies are written in a different form, those policies will be better portrayed.

One of the first things to remind people about with Tulsi Gabbard is that she is the one candidate who actively stood up against election fraud in the 2016 primary. She stepped down as vice chair of the DNC to do so. The candidate she supported in that case has been completely silent as she has suffered media silence and dishonest tactics by the DNC to exclude her from debates.

So here is your chance to get acquainted with her policies and stances.

Universal healthcare-

Tulsi is in favor of universal healthcare. She has stated that she has the goal of eliminating corporate involvement in primary care medicine, while reserving a role for insurance companies for additional levels of care beyond basic universal care. This is similar to policies in most countries that have universal healthcare.

She proposes a policy whereby the government can negotiate lower drug prices with drug companies.

Foreign policy-

She has foreign policy experience of six years on the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.

Tulsi is in favor of using diplomacy rather than force against other countries who are adversaries, present or potential.

She states a policy of being against wars for regime change and diverting the trillions spent on warfare back to supporting our own citizens for education, healthcare, infrastructure and environment.

She has cosponsored bills to declare it to be a high crime should the president initiate wars without Congressional approval and prohibit the president from engaging in ongoing wars in other countries without prior approval by Congress in the form of a formal declaration.

Another bill is intended to stop the US from arming terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS or affiliated groups or individuals.

Nuclear weapons-

Tulsi states policies which reduce the risk of nuclear confrontation by the use of diplomacy and continued observance of the INF treaty which Trump has withdrawn from.

She cosponsored a bill for the US to have a formal no first strike policy. This would be the first time in US history that the US would have such a policy.

Ending the drug war-

Tulsi is in favor of legalizing marijuana, at least for medical purposes, ending the federal criminalization of marijuana. She has already submitted a bill to that effect, along with a separate bill directing the VA to conduct a clinical trial for cannabis use for chronic pain and PTSD, among other uses.

Criminal Justice Reform-

Tulsi proposes policies meant to offer alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenses, such as marijuana use or minor possession.

She proposes ending the cash bail and for-profit prison systems.

She has cosponsored a bill intended to promote evidence-based rehabilitation for prisoners.

She cosponsored another bill to collect and study the effects of state legalized marijuana programs.

She cosponsored another bill, “Trafficking Survivors Relief Act- To provide for the vacating of certain convictions and expungement of certain arrests of victims of human trafficking.”

Gun laws/control-

Tulsi supports background checks for all gun purchases, closing the gun show loophole, reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, banning of bump stocks and banning domestic violence perpetrators from owning firearms, for which she introduced legislation.

She voted against the Concealed Firearm Reciprocity Act.

Adult education-

Tulsi supports free adult education and cosponsored a bill to that effect, “ College for All Act of 2017. This bill amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to establish a grant program to eliminate tuition and required fees: (1) for all students at community colleges and two-year tribal colleges and universities, and (2) for working- and middle-class students at four-year public institutions of higher education (IHEs).”

She also cosponsored this bill, “Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act of 2015, allowing the discharge of private educational loan indebtedness without the need to show an undue hardship”.

Elections-

Tulsi supports expanded voter registration, paper trails, limits on removing voters from rolls, making election day a federal holiday, prevention of gerrymandering and admission of Puerto Rico and District of Columbia as states.

Social Security-

Tulsi proposes taking back part of the money spent on the military and tax breaks for the rich to protect Social Security.

Wages and profits-

Tulsi supports reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, separation of banks from securities businesses and removal of PAC’s from the election process.

She supports increasing the minimum wage.

Environment/Green Energy-

Tulsi is in favor of investing in renewable energy, which creates long term, living wage jobs while reducing the cost of energy, in addition to reducing the cost of cleaning up the damage caused by pipeline leaks, spills, etc.

She is in favor of ending subsidies to oil/gas/coal companies, which should not be subsidized to begin with.

She wants to end subsidies to agribusiness conglomerates.

She wants to hold major corporations financially accountable for the environmental damage they cause.

She supports a ban on fracking and offshore drilling.

She supports holding nuclear energy providers responsible for the safe transport and storage of nuclear waste.

This is a short list of her stances and policies. For years I have encouraged voters to be informed on the policies of all candidates, not pick one and not even bother learning the policies of other candidates. To learn more about Tulsi’s stances and policies, look up her YouTube channel and visit https://www.tulsi2020.com/record

No, you can NOT call yourself a Progressive if you do not know the policies of all Progressive candidates. You can NOT call yourself a Progressive by supporting a name without knowing your other options.

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They Are Miscalculating

The media is reporting on the increasing risk of recession, based on Wall Street predictions. Or should I say manipulations?

By saying “recession” or “slowdown”, they are miscalculating at best, misrepresenting conditions at worst.

“Recession” is an interesting word. There is no universal definition as to what economic conditions constitute a recession or what constitutes a depression. Talk to different economists and you will get different criteria. None of those definitions establish complete collapse of an economy. They will use the term, “economic crisis”, even when that “crisis” lasts for years. Look at the conditions in Greece. Look at the conditions in Venezuela. In both of those countries, the economic conditions have basically been inflicted on those countries. For Greece, the conditions were imposed by creditors. For Venezuela, the conditions have been caused by US sanctions and seizure of assets.

Stock market decline. On 8/23/19 the DOW was down by over 600 points again. Which means we are quickly approaching a drop of 2000 points in less than three months. While the general economy has been suffering for years, the stock market, meaning rich investors, has been riding high through it all. We have been hearing how well the economy is doing but when you talk to real people on the street you hear a far different story.

Media complicity. With the 2020 election coming up, the media who touted the strength of the economy has changed their tune drastically. Now corporate economists are all getting on one page, stating a recession is eminent. A recession has been eminent for years, they just haven’t told you so. They haven’t told you so because they are complicit in the conditions which are leading us into a recession/depression/collapse. If they told you it was coming, they would lose advertising from financial firms. Where economics are concerned, most Americans do not want to hear the truth. They want to hear what makes them feel secure, safe, happy, superior to their neighbors and other countries.

What the media doesn’t say. Of course, most of the media are run by neoliberal oligarchs. They oppose Trump, yet have wanted to capitalize as much as they could from his tax cuts and reduction of the interest rate. Now they have received their tax cuts, further interest rate cuts are not promised and will not amount to much if they happen. Thus, at this point they feel confident in attacking Trump and claiming a recession is going to happen if the current trade war continues. They neglect to tell you the recession/recession/collapse will occur even if the trade war completely stopped right this minute.

That neglect is fully intentional. The timing of the gradual revelation of the economy receding is intentional. Had they previously mentioned the economy weakening, you would have seen exactly what we are seeing right now and will see accelerating rapidly, which corporate media is literally instigating- for people to withhold money from savings and reduce spending. This accelerates the process of economic slowdown. If this had happened in 2017 or even 2018 the slowdown would have occurred much sooner than now. Which would mean that much of the blame could have been laid at the feet of the Obama administration.

Diverting your focus. Much of the blame does fall on the Obama administration. However there are more things to consider. Any earlier revelation would have meant that the GOP tax cut would not have occurred. Increases in defense spending would have either not happened or would have been far less. The focus of media reporting would have had to center on the economy, rather than Russiagate. Have you even noticed that the media focus has so suddenly shifted to the economy and racism now that Russiagate is effectively over? It’s not like anything has drastically changed economically or socially since Mueller testified before CONgress. The exact same things are happening. The only thing that has changed is how the media reports on it.

It’s not the tariffs. The media has built up the rhetoric claiming the economy was doing well and even expanding while manufacturing declined and we have seen record numbers of retail closures. We have seen mass layoffs and the Labor Participation Rate has dropped severely. Student loan defaults hit a record high in 2018. Vehicle sales have been down for years, which led to layoffs in the auto industry. It had nothing to do with tariffs. If the economy were truly doing well, tariffs would cause some inflation but virtually nothing else. So tariffs are not helping but they are nothing but an excuse.

What is the goal? To understand what the goal is, one need do nothing more than look back to 2008/2009. How did Obama deal with the recession? He bailed out the auto industry and the big banks using taxpayer money. That’s what Wall Street is counting on again. They got their tax break, interest can’t go much lower than it is now. Republican and Democratic administrations deal with economic recessions differently. Republicans cut taxes on the rich, using trickle-down economics as a rationale in spite of two decades of Reaganomics proving it false. Democrats bail out the same entities who got the tax breaks. Republicans are also likely to reduce social support programs, while Democrats increase spending on those programs. So the goal is to repeat this process. Allow or even force the crash to occur, then expect to be bailed out. You pay, they collect.

No social spending increase would be enough. In distant history, the increases in social support by Democrats was much greater than in recent years. By 2021, any increase would have to be truly massive if it had any chance of recovering the economy. No increases in social support spending which will be suggested at this point and by the current parties will be sufficient to recover from where we are heading this minute. The national debt is already so high that it would be unrealistic to even expect social spending increases which could have an effective impact.

Wars and past recoveries. There are other factors involved in economic recovery in this capitalist system. Those factors no longer exist nor can they exist. Past recoveries from major economic downturns were coupled with major wars. Those wars allowed for the forced expansion of US markets into other countries. There are no more countries for the US to expand into any more. It doesn’t matter what we manufacture when there is no market for the goods produced. It will not be possible to destroy the manufacturing capacity of China, Russia, India, Mexico and other countries without doing so much damage as to make the planet uninhabitable. So they will remain competitors on global trade. Threats against allies no longer work, as those allies each benefit from global trade and the lower prices brought by competition.

Automation. Increasing production capacity no longer means creating jobs when too much of the work is done by robots and automated systems. I’ve written about automation many times but the concept is simple. Automation does not create jobs, it eliminates jobs. That’s the whole point of automation. It reduces cost of production by the process of eliminating incomes, so fewer people can afford even the lower prices. Past technological advances nearly all created or were incorporated in the creation and expansion of new industries. In the past 20 years or more, what we have witnessed is the automation of existing industries. There have not been any actual new industries since the dawn of the internet and social media.

Major miscalculation. Other than being bailed out, there cannot be any goal in the revelation that the economy is declining. Ultimately, the rationale involved is the concentration of wealth into even fewer hands than what we see now. However, what they are not taking into account is the actual collapse of the economy. This is something we can see coming under current conditions. The decline of the economy is not just national, it is global. Reduction in income have led to reductions in consumer spending (retail decline) in nearly every country. That results in decreased production, which means reduced freight. Reduced income and spending means less taxation. At every level more jobs are lost.

Decades in the making. Right now we cannot prevent what is coming. It has been decades in the making. When it finally does happen it will appear to be sudden but anyone who has paid attention has been able to see it coming for at least the last decade. Not only is it eminent, it is intentional, hence the gradual concentration of wealth and reduction of rights. Both major parties are complicit while blaming one another. Keep in mind it was a Democratic majority under Obama that bailed out the banks, indicted not one person, enacted a corporate welfare program for health insurance and made the GWB tax cuts for the rich permanent. Both sides increase “defense” spending every year. Both sides approved the Trump tax cut for the rich. Both sides voted to suspend the debt ceiling until July 2021. Republicans cut social spending, Democrats restore a fraction of that spending, moving ever further to the right. One step forward, three steps back in a continual dance theater performance.

What they do not count on. While the rich are counting on the concentration of wealth, what they do not take into account is the ultimate response. We have seen revolutions in world history where the oppressed masses rose up to seize the accumulated wealth of the elite. This is becoming a very real scenario under the circumstances forming right now. They may have the idea of creating a global modern form of feudal system, which is what exists to a degree right now.

However, even as we bemoan educational standards, we now live in a world with the highest level of education in world history. We also have the best communications in world history. That combination of factors make today far different than any time in the past where large masses were oppressed. We, the people, have more advantages in our capacity to fight back than at any point in history. We don’t need violence and that would be counter-productive. We can turn off corporate media completely. We can call and write elected officials and media, tell them they do not represent our views. Boycott support for candidates who take corporate money. We can pull money out of corporate investments and buy precious metals.

Most of all, we can talk to each other. Stop attacking one another and instead talk about issues. Leave names out of the discussion unless it involves policies. Stop closing our eyes, ears and minds to the flaws in candidates. Stop making excuses. Stop voting AGAINST and know what we vote FOR. Our unity is what is feared most by the oligarchy.

Echo Chamber?

On social media, I am now breaking ties with some people. Some of these are people I have “known” for years. Online, of course. I have cheered for them, been cheered on by them, encouraged and been encouraged by, felt badly and congratulated one another.

However, there can come a time that one has to part ways with toxic and damaging people. That is true online and in real life. Ever broken from a toxic relationship? An abusive relationship? Abuse does not have to be physical or overt, it can mean a manipulative relationship where the other person tries to shame you, use false information or gather a group to oppose you. The goal is not to convince you but to exhaust you, wear you down, leave you with no strength to raise your own voice, leave you with no pride or self respect and ultimately surrender to their will.

The need to separate myself from toxic relationships becomes even more true in my own case. For one thing, like I recently wrote, the influence of certain cultists and extremists has led to extreme stress, resulting in chronic anxiety. Personally, this is harmful to me, seeing that I have ulcerative colitis, making stress my worst enemy (after specific foods and medicines).

On a larger scale, the same people are harmful to all of us. These are the people who do more harm than good. They are unwilling to part from their own echo chambers, prejudices, preexisting biases, the dictates of others thinking for them from religion to political party elitists to corporate “reporting” and corporate-friendly “fact checkers”.

Interestingly, these are the same people who will accuse you and I of retreating to our own echo chambers when we are ultimately forced to ignore their voices as they insist that you must be part of their cults or you are not informed. You can strictly oppose parties, religions, all forms of elitism, promote the demand for answers to reasonable questions, offer all forms of evidence available and adamantly defend equality across all boundaries. Yet if you do not believe (worship) as they do, you are not a “true believer” and must be shamed, attacked, invalidated and ultimately sacrificed on their altar.

Sorry, folks. I refuse to be your martyr, sacrifice or tied to your whipping post. You will never break me.

I have made clear what it would take to “recruit” me. Chief among the criteria is opposing war and corporate influence in all forms. These in addition to religion are the greatest influences we face in the fight for social progress. Anyone who does not oppose these first and foremost is offering only platitudes, bandages on gaping wounds, promises they cannot deliver. Those bandages are not progress, they are roughly the same as donating to a food bank rather than fixing the source of widespread hunger.

If we want true progress, we have to address the root causes of our problems. Those who sow dissent and use ad hominem, swallowed and regurgitated advertising tropes do nothing to solve actual problems.

So, fine. I have gone through the weeding out and expulsion of Fauxgressives from my friends lists on numerous occasions. Guess it’s time for another round of it. Some people, especially writers, try and gain large followings and boosted numbers. I don’t do that. In real life, I have always kept a small social circle of those whom I trusted. Online I’m the same way. I’d rather have a list of people whom I trust, respect and can converse with rationally, as opposed to some impressive digits next to my name representing strangers I don’t know and who show no respect to me or anyone they cannot recruit to their cult.

Call it an echo chamber. I prefer an echo chamber with many voices, all working toward permanent solutions. Real voices with no auto-tune. I can always hope those voices form a choir open to an ever-expanding list of voluntary members until the chamber must be expanded and ultimately outgrow any structure. All languages, ages and genders singing the same song. A song of healing, of strength, of trust, of sharing, of caring, of sorrow for the past, of hope and plans for the future.

Break The Echo Chambers!!!

This is a rant on frustration.

I am well aware of the prevalence of click bait in the media, especially on social media. There are click bait farms that churn out nothing but one article after another, all day, every day including Christmas, New Years and any other holiday you can name. Frequently they will post numerous articles on the same day regarding the same subject, all nearly identical. I’m looking at you, Vox!!!

I don’t write click bait. Ever.

The fact is, many times even the title of my articles can drive away readers from one or both parties (cults). My writing has nothing to do with popularity and everything to do with objective reasoning, critical thought. It is not the result of jumping on the latest populist bandwagon. Often my articles on a given subject come out later than the initial screaming wave of emotional responses. Instead, I take the time to fact check, examine, consider and run calculations. None of my writing is ever regurgitation of talking points dictated, authorized, paid for and vomited out by militant zombies on one side or another.

It is not a question. My writing offers rational viewpoints that you are not likely to find from any other source, whether corporate or independent.

Nobody else I have seen has offered a four part series on universal healthcare in layman’s terms, explaining what the effects would be on the economy, job market and society as a whole. Not all of that is obvious. It takes a thorough examination, which I have done because I have been an advocate of universal healthcare for decades.

Nobody else has offered a (currently) 6 part series showing how marketing is used to brainwash the public. It is a tool used by media, the intelligence agencies and political candidates.

Nobody else has run numbers saying how the recent “defense” budget increase could help millions of people if dispersed to humans instead of for bullets and bombs.

I was writing about thereal “defense” budget being over $1 trillion forYEARS before anyone else came along and they did a worse job of illustrating it. I’ve run example numbers in easy to understand formats to display the point.

Nobody else I have seen has gone through the entire 448 page Mueller report, line by line, fact checking all of it and placing his numbers in perspective.

Nobody else has explained how our weapons sales to other countries are done at a loss to the US economy.

Nobody else has detailed exactly why and in what extensive ways Russiagate is dangerous or how Russia would have had nothing to gain by bothering with our elections. I have done this across many articles because it is a very real threat to the entire planet.

This is a short list of examples showing that what I write is far different from other sources. No, I do not have a massive following. Many of my ideas are too detailed, too out of line with the mainstream consciousness. It is not for the zombies, the cultists, the mindless hordes seeking nothing more expansive than what fits in a meme because that is the extent of their mental capacity.

It pisses me off when I spend hours, sometimes days (even weeks) gathering information, fact checking, sometimes running calculations, having spent years studying subjects formally and informally, only to have some deadhead idiot with no comprehensive capacity think that they can contradict something I have written based solely on the article title or a small excerpt while they offer one sentence or less. Yes, that was all one sentence and I actually cut it short.

Read the article before commenting!!!

Sharing every “Hate trump” article, meme or quote you come across by any source, including GWB, does not make you Progressive, “woke” or even remotely conscious. Nor does sharing every pro-Bernie, Warren or whomever article, meme or quote. It makes you a puppet dancing on a string.

To be really Progressive and awake takes a lot more. It takes time, effort, close examination on people and issues. I know most people do not have the time or energy to spend on these things. To know the truth on these things means listening to sane, rational, intelligent voices that have nothing to gain, nothing to lose because they are NOT backed by corporate interests or a profit motive. That fully describes everything I write. I spend time and effort on all of this to condense and interpret it, then use simple language that most people can understand. I break complex issues down over multiple articles that are still in a readable format which will not take days of your life to read.

Yes, what I write can frequently cause a severe disruption in any cognitive dissonance you may have present. That’s generally the point.

If all you want is more of the same thing you hear Fox, CNN, MSNBC or any other corporate mouthpiece spews 24/7/365, from talking heads paid millions of dollars per year to market the views they want you to have or by weapons contractors and CIA propagandists, you have no need for independent content producers. Just stick to what you believe in and never make the attempt to change it, never challenge the authorized narrative. However, then you have to stop claiming you want anything to change for the better. Admit that you just want more of the same. The same names, same voices, same parties, same policies, same tactics, same arguments. You either cannot emotionally handle something different or you fear anything different.

If that’s what you want, stop commenting. We’ve heard what you have to say. Millions of you because you’re cloned, stereotyped, programmed, conditioned, rubber stamped. Stick to corporate media with the rest of the clones. Stick to the same two parties with the rest of the cult. Stick to the pages and groups that never speak a word you disagree with. Keep going through the same processes, same arguments, same statements over and over. If real Progressives want to hear that, we’ll tune in to the sources we turned off long ago for these exact reasons. We don’t need you trying to force it on us.

Our Song

Each day our voices gain strength and sing in unison the swan song of this monstrosity we were born into. More voices are joining in that song by the hour as the veil is lifted from their eyes.

The main message we must sing is the victory song, that compromise is unacceptable, defeat is unthinkable, pragmatism is surrender. Loose all swords from their sheaths, run the battle lines, spur the horses, light the fuses and charge ahead. If we go down, we go down fighting until songs of legend are sung in our wakes and our children raise the banners in our stead, as their eyes have been opened as well. Neither shall they surrender the fight as our hearts beat within them in unison, doubling their strength.

These walls shall not stand the vibration of our unified song.

Being A Purist

Now that the battle has begun for supremacy in the Democratic race, the belittlement of the “purists” has begun. Again. Only this time, the ones doing most of the attacking are the alleged Party “Progressives”.

Funny thing. In 2016, the ones supporting Bernie were attacked as “purists” by the Establishment DNC cultists. Now it is largely Bernie followers attacking us. Though it can also be Tulsi followers. And they are attacking each other.

So what does it mean to be a Purist? It means we see certain issues as non-negotiable. It means we reject incremental change. It means we understand that without radical change now that we are doomed. As a nation, possibly as a species. Do we expect everything that we push for to come to pass? No, we’re not children and we know what world we are living in. However, we expect a candidate who claims to be Progressive to raise the issues that we endorse and stand by those issues, stand by us. Not turn their backs for political expediency. Not vowing fealty to a party that has shown consistently that they have no interest in what is best for the people.

Stand your ground. Being a purist means standing your ground. It means we, ourselves must be loyal to our values. If we are not loyal to our values, how do we expect elected officials to not discard what some among us are too willing to throw away? When we throw our values under the bus, we throw ourselves under the bus right along with those values. We cannot abandon ourselves and expect better.

If you are not with us.. We hate having to take this stance but we are left with no choice. If you are not with us, you are against us. This is what we are told every single day by the people who claim to be on our side. Thus, we are forced to adopt the same attitude. Look how many times our concerns are completely ignored by the media, by the people we have donated to, campaigned for, voted for. If we do not force issues to the foreground, those concerns are covered up, treated as though they and we are invisible.

We are problem solvers. Too many times, we have been called trouble makers. The opposite is true. We see problems and troubles which we cannot ignore. It is we who seek solutions. Solutions that help the greatest number of people possible, rather than only a select privileged few.

We are the most informed voters. Of all voters in the spectrum, we tend to be the most informed, the most aware. That is why so many attempts are made to silence us. Given the slightest chance, we educate other voters. We do not rely on insults and profanity to make our points. We come armed with facts, logic, reason, questions which we will not allow to be ignored.

We are growing in number. As much as even other self-proclaimed “activists” try to silence us and discourage us, we are growing in number. Our education has an insidious impact which recruits more to our side on a daily basis. So if it seems like you have reason to be discouraged, don’t give in. Just seek out the right associates and lean on each other.

We’re not going away. We are here to stay. We are a permanent fixture that will continue our efforts no matter what obstacles are throw in our path. Social media is the medium that brought us together and allowed us to share information. Now we have many means of reaching across distances, joining forces and continue these efforts.

We will not be shamed. If you call us purists, we will thank you for it. Some try and use the term as an affront, an insult. You cannot claim we are selfish when we fight for many and often for things which offer us no direct benefit or profit. We are willing to pay more and work harder if it means it helps others attain equality, health and peace. We know that what is not pure is tainted, impure, corrupted, foul.

The choice is yours. Are you a purist? Will you stand or will you run and hide? Will you be loyal to your fellow human beings or sell out because you don’t have it in you? What future do you want for yourself, your children, your grandchildren? Because that is the future we are creating right this minute. If we lose, you lose and so do your descendants. Define what you call “winning”. Look around you now and see what is being called “winning”. If it does not include elevating everyone with no exceptions, you haven’t won anything but bragging rights and not much of that in the long term. Are you any different than the ones who dismissed you before? That’s a choice you make hour by hour.

I know where I stand and you will not move me. Try at your own risk.

Playing Both Sides Against The Middle

If a candidate (or anyone else in general) appears to be or claims they are being criticized or attacked by two or more sides of an issue, there is a good reason for that.

They have not actually chosen a side. Or they are being deceptive regarding the side they have chosen, considering their intended audience.

Not clear enough? If a candidate claims to be Progressive but adopts centrist or right wing opinions and policies, they will not just say so.

There are several things to note about a person being attacked from multiple sides. For one thing, it may be intentional to get attention. They make themselves the victim so followers defend them. Even when the followers originally disagree with the opinion. This is a form of manipulation and brainwashing. The followers have come to oppose their own opinions willinglyso much that they will go on the attack against people who voice the very opinion they once had. That is, before they signed on to defend a name.

A candidate who is always attacked from both sides consistently espouses opinions and plans which ride the middle lane, trying to dodge attacks from either side while being assailed, rightly, from all sides.

A candidate who rides the middle lane, straddling the center line is not a revolutionary leader. They may be able to enact some minuscule changes but not the radical change that is needed at this time. We have been dealing with incremental change for decades and the changes that have occurred have dragged us ever further to the right, to the edge of the abyss we now face. We are teetering and about to go over in the next errant breath.

Nobody can please all the people all of the time. Nobody can be loyal to the people and a corporate-friendly war machine party. It has to be one or the other. If they will not make a choice, it is up to use to make that choice for them and walk away. We can do better. Stop making excuses.

Nobody can be loyal to one country realistically while opposing the sovereignty of other nations. While propagating stories fabricated to divide, to cause tensions with dangerous opponents that could be powerful allies in the times ahead.

No leader should propose sanctions which injure our allies. Our allies have suffered enough damage from us and it is only a matter of time before they are no longer allies. Sanctions which innocent human beings. Stop calling sanctions peaceful.

Our country comprises 5% of the earth’s population. We neglect and bully our friends while we antagonize our opponents. What happens when the other 95% just get sick of our shit?

Our country is dominated by 0.1% of the population. So we have 0.1% of 5% of the world population attempting to dictate rules to the entire planet. And people are terrified puppets, fawning slaves and slobbering, mouth breathing, knuckle dragging sycophants to these less than 200 people on a planet of 7.7 BILLION.

If you’re not standing up, you’re useless at this point. Stop standing in the middle of the road before the rest of us run you down. Pick a side and stop blocking traffic.

I’m Still Focusing On Issues.. Are You? Really?

I know I have been writing about certain names a lot recently. Some people have taken offense to it. I offer no apologies.

Here’s what anyone reading what I have written should notice. I am still discussing issues. Some try and claim because I refuse to join their cult that I am not a true Progressive. In defense I offer the entire list of my articles, which is somewhere around 400. I stand by every single one of them with the thoughts, ethics, values and concern for fellow human beings across the globe represented with each line inscribed.

Can my accusers do the same? Can they honestly state they have not turned their backs on their concern for others, surrendered to a name, to a party, to a cult, to.. pragmatism? Where have we heard that word before?

I have no shame in standing for what I believe in. I will never look back later and realize I gave up part of myself. I refuse. You cannot shame me into it. You cannot threaten me into it. You cannot scream any name loud enough in support or opposition to change my mind.

Call me a dreamer. I’ll call you correct. But I’m not the only one.

Call me idealistic. I will thank you and ask what your ideals are.

Call me naive. I will prove that you are the one naive and apathetic to the suffering of others for your own profit, no better than the Establishment you claim to oppose yet wield against me to defend.

Who have you become? Can you answer yourself with that question?

Like I said, I am still talking about issues. The same issues I have been talking about. A few of which are-

Peace. Not negotiable. How do we not promote peace? Threats do not promote peace. Sanctions do not promote peace. Invasions do not promote peace. Unilateral imperatives do not promote peace. Refusing to discuss differences with other world leaders does not promote peace. False accusations with no evidence do not promote peace. Ignoring people who promote these ideas does not promote peace. Donating to people and cheering for them does not promote peace. You send the message that you are completely in favor of the actions and rhetoric they represent. Don’t tell yourself otherwise. You cannot blame someone else for this, it’s on you. You are not innocent and I will not let you claim innocence in my presence.

Universal healthcare. Not negotiable. It should be obvious that I promote universal healthcare. I simply will not promote that above the massacre of children in other countries.

Eliminating corporate money in politics. Not negotiable. This is not going to happen without supporting policies which work toward that goal. Not incrementally but completely. The one and only path toward this is all elections funded through taxes. Make all the excuses you like but you know this is true.

Election reform. Not negotiable. Election reform has been a topic for decades. Addressing gerrymandering, election funding, paper trails, open debates, corporate party control of our elections including the Council on Presidential Debates and their rules which favor the duopoly. Millions of us agree that we need ranked choice voting and paper trails. Those will happen only with policies that we demand. Not vague platitudes. These things have to be part of a candidate or party platform with full commitment to them, fully defined. Then they must be held accountable.

Police reform. We all know police reform needs to be a national issue. Standards must be established but without establishing a national police force. Body cameras that cannot be turned off by officers, video that cannot be erased, civilian oversight committees with the power to indict with no refusal to charge by DA’s. Investigations of police must be handled by outside objective entities. Equal sentencing for abusive, corrupt and murderous police officers, same as any civilian offender.

Income inequality. Not negotiable. This is an issues that has to be addressed in real terms that benefit the people of this country, not the rich and corporations. That means increasing wages to a living wage standard, serious movement toward Universal Basic Income, before automation eliminates so many jobs that barely any jobs exist any more. The gradual move toward that needs to happen now, not later. The rich and corporations must be taxed to pay their fair share to maintain the welfare of the citizens of this country, not just themselves.

If you want to claim the title of Progressive, it is not disposable. It is a definition of self. It is part of you which cannot be denied. If you can deny it, then you need to redefine yourself because you’re not Progressive. Look in the mirror and be honest.

Shrinking Medical Options

As a nurse, I love (sic) to hear how America has the best medical care available of any country. So let me correct this statement for you. We have the best medical care available to those who can afford it and live in the right areas or have the luxury of being able to travel long distances to access that care.

The distance issue is becoming an increasingly alarming issue. For years, hospitals have been closing at a rate of 30 hospitals per year across the US. At first glance, this number doesn’t sound horrible. However, then we have to dive deeper into those numbers.

According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), as of 2016, there were only 5534 hospitals operating in the US. Of those,

209 are federal government hospitals.

397 are non-federal psychiatric hospitals.

88 are counted as “other” hospitals.

All those can be removed from the total serving communities, bringing the number down to 4840. Of that number, only 1825 are rural hospitals. Yet rural hospitals and those in low income areas are the ones closing at the fastest rate.

As stated, these numbers are from 2016, so the number of active facilities are even lower as of this time.

Even worse? Included in that 4840 number are rehabilitation and chronic care hospitals. There are no accurate numbers available, so there is no way of knowing how many of the 4840 are not acute care facilities. I have worked at various rehabilitation facilities that call themselves hospitals and even then objected to that designation. People seeking emergency care will not find it available at those facilities.

To be considered a hospital only requires that a facility maintain six inpatient beds.

Total hospital admissions for 2016 totaled 35,158,934. So that equals 6353 hospital admissions per facility. An admission can be for one day or 6 months. An admission only counts one time for each facility, so that has no correlation to how many hospital days are spent on each admission.

In 2016, there were a total of 894,574 beds to accept those admissions, meaning there were 39 admissions for each hospital bed in this country.

The average cost of one hospital admission was $28,201.

So, in the country that pays the absolute highest amount for medical care of any country on earth, we are seeing a reduction in the number of hospitals and hospital beds, leaving the poor and rural in situations with even less care than they had to begin with. This coming even as the cost of insurance skyrockets yet deductibles climb ever higher.

The rate of hospital closures is expected to accelerate even faster in the near future.

To illustrate the difference over time, consider the fact that in 1975, there were 7156 hospitals in this country. Now we have 5534, which is a loss of 1622 hospitals. The population of the US in 1975 was 216 million. while in 2016 the population was 323.4 million.

As the population increases while the number of hospitals continues to decrease, this situation becomes ever more critical. The loss of hospitals also means loss of tens of thousands of living wage jobs in our communities, causing ever worsening effects on the economy.

Even now, hundreds of thousands of Americans living in rural communities must make drives or be transported hundreds of miles to access inpatient medical care while being far from family and friends, leading to more negative medical outcomes. Meanwhile those in less affluent areas suffer more obstructions to care.

I do understand that some will offer a counter-argument that hospital stays today are shorter. That is true but is more than offset by the fact that more medical procedures are performed outpatient than ever. In some cases, that’s fine, when consequences are not likely to be life threatening. When we talk about invasive or cardiac procedures, that’s a different story. Yet it happens daily. Patients are being discharged the same day as elective heart catheterizations and gall bladder surgeries, each of which should mandate at least overnight observation. Why is this happening? Simple, save the hospital beds for those with the insurance that pays more. The fact that any insurance plan would approve these circumstances tells you they are more concerned with paying a hospital than quality of care. It really is that simple.

Yes, modern medical procedures are less invasive than they were decades ago, meaning shorter recovery times on average. No sane medical professional advocates for more invasive procedures or hospital stays longer than necessary for safety. Each of those carry their own consequences, including hospital-acquired infections and blood clots (DVT). The longer you are hospitalized, the higher the risk. Yet even rehabilitation is often cut shorter than it should be based on insurance payments as opposed to patient needs.

We are already past the tipping point on medical safety as a nation. One epidemic or catastrophe means the medical systems we have in place are overwhelmed easily. The average age is rising, increasing your chances of needing hospital care at some point. Will it even be available if or when you need it? In the face of a decades-long nursing shortage, nurse pay is static or even declining locally. Experienced nurses and doctors are leaving the profession due to stress. That leaves less experienced, more apathetic people in their place that consider medicine “just a job”.

Life expectancy in the US is actually declining, alone among all developed nations. While medical advances and best practice is extending care in other countries.

There is no scenario where we can consider our medical system to be the best available under these conditions. I would love to say this cannot continue but at the moment I fully expect it to continue unabated until it becomes critical. For many, it already has but those voices are not heard by Wall Street, corporate media and bought politicians.

The question is, are you listening?

Happy 2019!! (NOT 2020)

Happy 2019!!

2018 was not the best year for many of us. If not for actual personal events in our lives, many have been inundated with stress thanks to politics. Though I have to say if you really found 2018 that stressful because of politics, what it really indicates is that you finally started paying attention. Many neoliberals will claim otherwise yet can barely cover the surface of any issue. Though even that is an improvement. In 2016 and 2017 they could not even name more than one issue.

Honestly, if you do not know what the issues really are, then it’s time to find out. I think my page is a good place to begin because I have a few hundred articles posted, each one of which delves into one issue or another. If not mine, try another Progressive page.

Any way, back to the subject at hand. I’ve written about this a couple of times but it bears repeating again.. and again.. and again. It is now 2019, not 2020!!!!

What does that mean? It means to stop sharing, writing, trying to campaign for your favorite neoliberal zombie puppet like you are a ventriloquist’s dummy with someone’s hand up your ass!!! Either that or admit to the fact to yourself that this is exactly what you are.

I don’t care how much you need a cult to belong to, now is not the time. It is not time to talk about Bernie or Warren or Harris or Clinton or Biden or what ever other Establishment tool the DNC and their corporate owners are trying to shove down our throats already. The only exception is if you are protesting against them and even that needs to be limited to comments where they are being promoted by others. Otherwise you are just helping to build name recognition for them. You are helping them with every article you share.

2019 needs to be the year of issues. Medicare For All, ending wars, election reform, freedom for Assange, increasing wages… Those are the things we need to be discussing. It does not matter who is in what office. Get away from the names because the fixation on names is what is destroying this country. Too many atrocities are ignored because some name claims it is okay.

This year you have plenty of time to get informed. The presidential elections are next year, not this year. The more we focus on issues, the more we can force the media and elected officials to address them, force them to listen.

Identity Politics. One of our biggest tasks this year needs to be breaking down the barriers of identity politics. This means sticking to the issues religiously. Leave names out of the picture, which is much easier when there is no election on the immediate horizon. Poll after poll shows the true left and the Conservative right have many common concerns and opinions. Nearly the only real difference is immigration. Yet if we addressed the other problems, immigration becomes less and less of a concern. Address income inequality, healthcare, employment, law enforcement, drug abuse and education standards and any argument against immigration disappears, other than overt racism.

Democrats attack us, disparaging any “purity test”, which is really a testament that they endorse corruption. Talk about Medicare For All and they show their colors. Even if you still call yourself a Democrat you can see the absolute resistance to popular movements. Democrats used to be the anti-war party (or so they claimed). Now they oppose any peace effort. They used to be the party for the people, yet all legislation they have suggested is aimed only at their own grip on power.

Republicans attack us, claiming we want something for nothing. Then hand massive tax breaks to corporations and the rich. But this is no change for Republicans, who have always been the same way. Okay, I should say Conservatives because Conservatives and Liberals reversed parties in 1968. They claim to be in favor of decreased spending, then increase spending and debt dramatically. Who pays for the spending and the debt? You do. They claim to create jobs but do so by decreasing wages while inflation continues rising. Or they create jobs in other countries. Meanwhile, profits rise at the top.

Our Advantage. The advantage that Progressives have at this point is the fact that we have become so intensely independent. We are the orphans left to fend for ourselves and define how things should be. Which means we see things objectively, how each party works against us. That also means we are far less likely in the future to be blind to manipulation should we achieve a third party leader trying to deceive us into war, corporate dominance or trickle down economic lies. Our advantage is that we have become more educated, more adept, more thick skinned, more fluent in all the deceptions and can pass this knowledge on to others. If we do it wisely.

Call me names. In the past few years I have been called a sexist while I voted for Jill Stein. A Communist and Socialist for wanting more for our own people. A coward for not endorsing useless wars for corporate profit. A Trump supporter for not blindly following the DNC cult. A Hillary supporter for not blindly following Trump. A Russian troll for not believing Mueller is a god. I’m not alone. Millions of us have endured this and will continue doing so. By this point it rolls off our backs. We’re not going away. We are growing in numbers as each major party disappoints their followers more each day.

This is our year. Don’t throw it away and do not tolerate others who try to do so. Talk about what matters. Drag the cultists kicking and screaming back to specifics on issues. When they push platitudes, arm yourself with facts, ask questions and demand answers, not propaganda. We need real discussions, not advertising.

Keep in mind, 2020 is a full year away.