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.

The Battle For Everything

Make no mistake, this is war.

I have even close friends tell me that I can be “too aggressive” at times. especially on social media. I agree I can be aggressive. However, saying too much so is very open to debate.

I have been a Progressive at different levels my entire life. I am 56 years old, so I grew up through Vietnam and the first Cold War. I’ve seen Watergate, Reagan, Honduras, Iran, Iran-Contra, the fall of the Berlin Wall (while I was in Germany), Desert Storm (when I was recalled to active duty), 17 years of Afghanistan, 15 years of Iraq, the assassination of Qaddafi… All along the way I have fought for human rights, against war, against prejudice, against income inequality.

The problem with the Progressive movement is that too many in this movement over the years have been too nice. At least, that is my take on it. Too many are too willing to compromise. Don’t use harsh words, listen to opposing views, take incremental steps. Look where that has gotten us.

The line has moved ever onward in a steady march to the right. More war, more bombs, more debt, more corporate control, fraudulent elections, more censorship, more blatant prejudice and on and on.

Here are just a few examples of how we have moved ever farther to the right in the last few years and why this is most definitely civil war with no civility at all coming from the enemy.

Job market. Right now retail and manufacturing in this country are collapsing. Auto companies, GE and numerous other companies are laying people off by tens of thousands. Retail and small businesses are closing by the thousands. Automation is eliminating tens of thousands of jobs annually. At each step, more jobs are lost. Lost jobs means lost consumers, so there will be fewer jobs in retail or manufacturing in the foreseeable future.

Stock market. The stock market has been propped up by false images brought about by stock repurchases for years. That had to come to an end at some point because it was unsustainable. Even as I write this, the collapse I have predicted for the past decade or more is happening.

Lack of medical care. Millions of Americans have no health insurance. Millions more cannot afford the premiums, deductibles and medications. As fewer and fewer can afford care, more hospitals and clinics close. That means fewer medical jobs available and decreasing pay for the ones that are left. As a nurse, I can state without reserve that burnout and apathy are now common in the medical field. So experienced medical professionals are retiring or just walking away in droves. So the quality of care declines. The end result is that millions suffer acute or chronic illness, too often with long term consequences including death.

Income inequality. Because of the conditions already mentioned and simply the greed of the rich, the poor in this country keep getting poorer and the rich have been getting richer. More wealth is concentrated in the hands of a decreasing number of rich people than any time in world history. Less money in circulation means entire economies, including ours, will soon collapse. This has begun. We see protests and riots globally. Of course, corporate media reports on very little of it because you’re not supposed to know. It may give you ideas they don’t want you to have. When they do report on it, they make the rising millions seem like lawless gangs and criminals.

Poverty. Poverty is widespread and increasing, bringing hunger, malnutrition, homelessness, illness, social anxiety, substance abuse, addiction, depression and rising suicide rates.

Censorship. People rage against Trump for banning one CNN reporter from the White House. He did not ban CNN, he banned one reporter. CNN could have sent another reporter. Yet the same people raging about this have nothing to say about RT being banned. The DNC attacks Trump and yet are suing Wikileaks for releasing the DNC emails. Great! I’m for it. Evidence discover will backfire spectacularly on them! Many people who claim to be in favor of freedom of the press hate Assange and think it’s good that Alex Jones was censored. It’s all okay with them as long as a corporation does it, even when corporations own 95% of the media. FB and Twitter remove Progressive pages while YouTube demonetizes Progressive outlets. Neoliberal zombies don’t care. They keep listening to Rachel Maddow think for them.

Election integrity. Do we really have to go over what happened in the 2016 Democratic primary again? I’m just mentioning it, I won’t recap yet again.

Russiagate. Make no mistake, Russiagate is a march to war. It can go nowhere else. Even though polls have proven absolutely that most Americans do not believe this to be an issue which is of primary concern to them. Yet you hear about it every day. No evidence, no viable motive for Russia ever presented.

Environment. Right now we have over 1300 Superfund sites in this country. Climate change is a reality, no matter what science deniers claim. Over 95% of scientists agree. The only ones that do not have profits to make by denying it.

Collapse of the dollar and other currencies. The value of the dollar is built on thin air and resources we do not own. Systems of payment for oil which we have nothing to do with. The world is slowly turning away from that system, signing the death note for the dollar at a time when the US has more debt than all other countries combined. Hence other countries are selling off US Treasury bonds, hastening our demise. Meanwhile real estate and other investments are falling rapidly around the world.

The fall of capitalism. The UN recently issued a report stating capitalism is unsustainable. It is built on the need for never ending expansion of production requiring the consumption of resources beyond the capacity of not only the global environment but beyond the capacity of the market itself. We are already beyond the tipping point and it is falling in on itself. There is no way forward for capitalism to continue uncontested and humans to survive without a massive population failure.

Ever-increasing warfare. Right this minute, there are more countries engaged in military conflicts than at any time since WWII. The US is spending more on “defense” than all other countries combined. Meanwhile, all sides of our government claim to be opposing one another while all sides are in a non-stop and ever-accelerating push to war with Russia, China, Iran and anyone else who does not bow down to our imperial design. Corporate media takes profits from the war machine and acts as the advertising wing of the same war machine. It would be impossible to name a war or military confrontation the US has engaged in for the past 40 years, perhaps ever, that our media opposed.

This is only a short list. Yet it is illustrative of the challenges we are up against. Incremental change and pragmatism are not viable responses any more. Trying to convince people using nice words is no longer an option. In no way do I endorse violence. There may come a time when violence is the only choice we have as a response to the conditions at hand. This is not that time. However, tolerating those who continue to defend the neoliberal Establishment characters and tactics cannot be done any more with polite language and pedagogy. It’s time to treat adults like adults. It is far beyond time to call BS for BS.

If we are not contradicting the status quo, debunking propaganda ferociously, then we have laid down our arms and surrendered. By default, we are culpable for the continuation of the same problems listed above and all that goes with them.

This is the battle for everything. We do not need to be friends with the enemy. We do not need to recruit spies for the other side. We need comrades in arms. Peaceful, mindful warriors for the cause of bringing down the real enemies. The warmongers, the unrestricted capitalist eating machine, the power mongers, the priests and sycophants of hatred and bigotry, the sexists.

Call me aggressive. Call me not a nice person. Call me an asshole. I’ll even agree with you at times. We cannot keep doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. That is the definition of stupidity. The one thing you cannot call me is stupid. Try it and I will absolutely call you on it openly.

Choose your side. Because neutrality is not an option.

The Diversity Of The True Left

One of the most interesting things about the true left, aka Progressives, is our diversity.

The right and centrists have certain homogeneous traits. The far right is typically either poorly educated and proud of that fact or they are educated and set on taking advantage of the less educated ones. Centrists tend to be better educated in general but middle class who think they are much higher on the feeding chain than they actually are.

In each case, right and center, the ones at the top take advantage of those lower down, who never examine the lies they are being told. In most of both cases, they are predominantly white and, while they call themselves Christians, they fail to follow the tenets of their own religion.

I am being quite serious when I say that those to the center left tend to have the highest intelligence and sense of empathy. In today’s terms, center left means far left of neoliberals and slightly right of Marxism.

Any form of extremism is extremism. Whether far left or far right, there is no balance and any extremist system is bound to fail, if not by it’s own shortcomings, then by massive resistance which results in outright violent conflict. While ethically I do see value in Marxism sans fascism, I understand that our society has not evolved to a degree that it is realistic at this time. First and foremost because of the means of motivation which have been conditioned into our culture. If I thought it were realistic, I would be for it. Not in our lifetime, though. We have a long way to go.

Back to the main subject.

Progressives span a wide variety of people across cultures and subcultures, races, genders, religions, income levels and education levels. Too often we are portrayed as lazy or wanting something for nothing. Yet most of us are employed, most educated. In fact, I would venture to say a larger than average percentage of us can be classified as workaholics.

Not all of these people are running for any office but they are all examples of who is on the true left.

Dr Jill Stein. Harvard educated and magna cum laude (Harvard College) physician and social/environmental/political activist who has run as the Green Party nominee in every election since 2012. Prior to that, she ran for various elected offices in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010 in Massachusetts.

Professor Richard Wolff. Marxian economist known globally, has taught at Yale, University of Paris, University of Mass-Amherst, New School University-New York, the Brecht Forum, University of Utah and City University of New York. Has a weekly radio program and appears on various leftist TV shows and radio programs in addition to writing.

Dr Ajamu Baraka. 2016 Green Party VP Candidate, most people know. He has also served as founding executive Director of the US Human Rights Network, served on the boards of Amnesty International, the Center For Constitutional Rights and Africa Action and is an Associate Fellow at the Institute For Policy Studies. Prolific and powerful speaker and writer.

Aaron Mate. Journalist who never fails to ask the right questions and challenge interviewees when they speak obvious falsehoods. Currently at The Real News Network, he has also reported for Democracy Now!, The Intercept, Vice, Al Jazeera and the Toronto Star.

Jimmy Dore. While Jimmy is a comedian, he is a voice to be reckoned with, having been on The Young Turks for years, he has his own show on Patreon and YouTube. Any Progressive can love watching him go on a heated rant because he never holds back. He travels the country doing stand-up comedy which is politically intense. His show usually has Stef Zamorano, Ron Placone (who also has his own show on YouTube and also travels doing political stand-up) and frequently Graham Elwood.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A New York Representative who is making a name for herself on the left. I do not always agree with her on some subjects but she shows promise. Considering the fact that she was a waitress not long ago and has risen to using her first day of her apprenticeship to stage a protest in Nancy Pelosi’s office, I would not call that lazy.

Tulsi Gabbard. Representative from Hawaii who stood up for equal representation for Bernie Sanders during the 2016 election, stepping down from a top position in the DNC. She has traveled to Syria, stood up to the power structures in DC and is an Army veteran. Highly Progressive on many subjects, though again I cannot claim I always agree with her.

Bernie Sanders. Yes, I know some of you will be pissed I did not put him first. On many subjects, he is highly Progressive and extremely vocal on those issues. I still believe he should have won in 2016. He is one of the most energetic members of Congress and definitely one of the most Progressive until recently. This is merely an example, not an endorsement. I have stated clearly what I feel his failings to be previously.

While this is a rather short list, they are some of the most visible. These are all strong voices who work hard and always have. They are capable of seeing and caring beyond themselves. They work toward improving this country and this planet for someone besides the extremely rich. They do not divide people nor do they try and convince one sector of society that that sector is superior to others. They try and unite us all, which is precisely why they encounter so much opposition. None of them endorse the concept of something for nothing.

Not in popularity but in effort, I’d like to include myself in this list. Anyone claiming I want something for nothing could not be more wrong. I am a diagnosed workaholic. I began working when I was 12. Over the years I have been a dishwasher, chef, veteran, auto/diesel/turbine mechanic, assistant military instructor, web designer, freelance writer and a nurse. Right now I work 32–48 hours a week, try and stay on top of issues and attempt to write 4–5 articles a week while making virtually nothing for doing so. If you read my articles, you can see that I do my own research and am not averse to running numbers to prove my point. In fact, I may be spending more at times than I earn from my writing. Does any of that sound lazy or selfish to you?

It used to be a standard that employers provided for medical care for employees in this country. I even had that when working in a convenience store while in college. Now that idea is being considered selfish on the part of the worker. How did we, as a nation, come to care more about the profits of the rich than the suffering of the many?

It used to be a standard that people earned a days pay for a days work in this country. Again, how did this become too much to expect? It is not in any way unreasonable to ask multi-billionaires to part with some of their accumulated hoards which they could not spend in 100 lifetimes so that this country is truly prosperous.

All of this has come about as a result of corporations owning the means of information. It is beyond time to turn off corporate media and see them for what they are.

It is beyond time to look around and see how close to the edge we are as a country. That when we turn our backs on each other, we have nothing left. It is only through diversity that we will gain unity and change the way things are going. The road we are on now runs directly to epic disaster as few Americans have ever dreamed. 

Now Is Our Time

The midterms are officially over. Say what you will about recounts taking place, the races, the campaigns are done.

Trump has been in office for coming on two years. Are you tired yet of hearing about every single tweet, every offensive word he speaks? Aren’t you looking for something, someone who opposes his actions? You know, some Resistance? Or do you just want to keep looking for things to be offended by?

Have you realized yet that if Trump is impeached, we wind up with Pence, who is even worse?

By this point, if you are even remotely conscious, you know the corporate Democrats are truly no better than Trump and the Republicans. They use nicer words. That’s all. In the end, they bow to the same corporate owners, start even more wars and smile while doing so.

However, now is OUR time.

While many will try and postulate about the 2020 presidential race, we are almost a year away from the DNC choosing their nominee before the campaigns are ever announced. Unless they have already chosen, which is a distinct possibility. No matter because whatever the case may be, discussion is basically useless at this time.

Yes, MSM is going to be starting to discuss 2020 immediately to divert your attention and manipulate your attention. Does not matter. Before the first campaign actually begins is at least a year away.

That makes this time crucial for us. It means we have a full year to wrest control of the real discussions going on. To force those discussions onto issues which actually matter. To demand actual policies. When Democrats talk about how Republican policies are so bad, we need to be screaming, “Then what are you doing about it?! Not in 2020, now?!!”

It us we who need to be forcing discussions on universal healthcare, ending wars, increasing wages, immigration reform, police oversight, legalization of cannabis, election reform, publicly funded elections and more. We know they are not going to do it. We know corporate media is not going to do it.

Now is the time to turn off corporate media for good (if you have not already). If you find money to donate to political campaigns, now is the time you need to divert that money to independent media and help the message grow. Use the time you wasted on corporate media and explore more independent sources. When you find good ones, share those sources and help them gain an audience. Sources like Caitlin Johnstone, Jimmy Dore, Real News Network, Lee Greenwald, Chris Hedges.

Yes, of COURSE I would like to be included in that list!!!!!

Here is what you should not do. Share MSM articles which you hate. I don’t GAF what your comments are about the article. Neither do they. Every time you turn on their station, they get paid. Every time you open their article, they get paid. Every time you share the article for others to read, you help them get paid.

It’s like having two children, one is a monster and the other is well behaved. You spend all your time, effort, money and resources on the one who misbehaves. The more attention you pay the one that acts up, the more they act up because you are rewarding that behavior. Meanwhile, you never even noticed the good kid was sick and starving to death. You finally notice it after they’re dead. Then they finally get your attention. Until the other kid throws a tantrum at the funeral. You were also blind to the fact that the bad kid was poisoning the good kid.

It’s time to ignore the bad kid. Ground them, lock them in their room. Start spending time with the good kid. Both of you will be better off for it and the bad kid just may learn something.

You want things to change? The very first place to begin is with yourself. Change your habits. You want news with substance? Then help those news sources continue, grow and succeed. You want hope? You have to help create that hope. Stop asking for shit to be handed to you. You want a brighter future? Then stop turning off the lights all around you and seeking darkness. Call yourself “woke”? Sure doesn’t look like it when you lay there with your eyes closed.

Now is our time. Stop wasting it. Start doing things differently. Stop bitching and moaning and start talking about solutions. If you are not part of the solution, then you are the problem.