Category Archives: protesting injustice

Call POTUS @realDonaldTrump today: ask him to grant @JulianAssange a pre-emptive pardon

Here’s what to say, how to call, and the video of me saying it on the White House comment line!

(For those who think Wikileaks is “Russian Wikileaks” or think that there is some conspiracy between Julian Assange and Russia, you’ve been dis-informed and for that I am deeply sorry because our country is being divided and conquered. **scroll down if you already know this part** You may or may not think that the leakers themselves should be prosecuted — that’s a different issue. Seth Rich was the leaker of the DNC emails, and I believe he is the 21st Century Nathan Hale; he quite literally died (was murdered) for the freedom of Americans in order to expose corruption of a ruling party, and the collusion between the DNC and a primary candidate to ensure a particular outcome in an election process for the leader of the United States of America in 2016. Please learn more about why Seth Rich is the 21st Century Nathan Hale by clicking here. And see the tweets below in order to learn more about Wikileaks as a news organization. Wikileaks is an equal opportunity publisher: if there is corruption in ANY government and they get their hands on proof of it, they WILL publish it.

 

From Wikileaks: “Russia’s laws – especially the new Yarovaya Law – make literally no distinction between Lawful Interception and mass surveillance by state intelligence authorities (SIAs) without court orders. Russian communication providers are required by Russian law to install the so-called SORM ( Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий) components for surveillance provided by the FSB at their own expense. The SORM infrastructure is developed and deployed in Russia with close cooperation between the FSB, the Interior Ministry of Russia and Russian surveillance contractors.”

So, newsflash, Wikileaks wants to expose corruption wherever it finds it, not just in the US government.

 

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**************CALLING THE WHITE HOUSE******************************

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If you film yourself calling the White House, and tweet me with the link on twitter at @Sarah__Reynolds, I will embed it on this website!! The script I used is below this video.

 

PROFANITY ALERT: here’s my attempt from the day before, but I called too late in the day to get to leave my comment. You do speak to a real human being, but you have to call 1 (202) 456-1111 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time. I was slightly irritated by this because during the Obama Administration when I called and read the 8th Amendment over the phone during the time Manning was being held at Quantico with no blanket and forced to be naked and cold, I didn’t have to be transferred to the comment line. So, you can watch that video too. (Ok, I drop one tiny F-bomb. No big whoop!)

 

 

LONG VERSION of the Script (also great for copy/pasting into the online comment form online or into a handwritten letter; scroll down for the short version)

Hi, my name is ____ and I’m calling from (city, state, country).

——————————————-

[SKIP THIS NEXT SENTENCE IF YOU’RE NOT A SUPPORTER OF TRUMP]

I am a supporter of President Trump, I voted for him in 2016 (and plan on voting for him again in 2020). (please don’t say you’re planning on voting for him again in 2020 if you’re not going to)

——————————————–

Today I’m calling to ask the President to grant Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of Wikileaks, a preemptive pardon and to ask him to direct the Justice Department to drop all charges against Mr Assange and Wikileaks. The New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post all published news articles based on the documents published by Wikileaks, and even the New York Times’ own General counsel has said that prosecuting Assange would set “a very very bad precedent for publishers …” and that “the Law would have a very hard time drawing a distinction between the New York Times and Wikileaks.” The First Amendment protects the American people’s right to read news articles, whether printed on paper or published online, and the Founders guaranteed this right as part of the very first Amendment because they knew that freedom of the press was foundational to preserving our constitutional republic.

 

President Trump said, “I love wikileaks” over and over again at his 2016 campaign rallies, and the American people cheered his brave appreciation for Wikileaks’ willingness to publish emails that revealed corruption and collusion at the highest levels of our American government, as evidence in both the DNC emails and Podesta emails shows.

So I ask President Trump to work with other world leaders to ensure Mr Assange’s safe passage from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to his home country of Australia. Additionally, he has been granted asylum by Ecuador, and the United States and the United Kingdom should respect the protected status of Mr Assange under international law.

Thank you very much.

 

SHORTER:

Hi, my name is ________.

I’m calling to ask President Trump to grant Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of Wikileaks, a preemptive pardon and to ask him to direct the Justice Department to drop all charges against Mr Assange and Wikileaks. As Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador, the United States and the United Kingdom should respect the protected status of Mr Assange under international law; and so I ask President Trump to work with other world leaders to ensure Mr Assange’s safe passage from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to his home country of Australia.

Thank you for your time.

 

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Why Ron Wyden’s Traitorous About Face on #FastTrack for the #TPP?

Author’s update: as of June 23, the Senate voted 60-37 to stop debate on Trade Promotion Authority, also commonly called “Fast Track” for the TPP. The next day the Senate passed TPA and on Monday, June 29, 2015, President Obama signed it into law. THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE’RE DONE FIGHTING. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement itself has not been passed – only President Obama’s ability to “fast track” it (approve it by bypassing Congress’ constitutional right to make amendments to it) BUT there is STILL time if you are reading this now. In fact, please read the inspiring comment from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch department in the 3 images below explaining that Fast Track was passed before in the late 1990’s in order to be used on the FTAA but after much public outcry, the FTAA was never even voted on! Then please sign PCGTW’s petition declaring that you will never stop fighting the TPP.

 

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The Trans Pacific Partnership “Free” Trade Agreement, if it is passed, will be nothing less than a corporate coup d’etat whose endgame is a total defunding of state and federal government via erosion of the taxpayer base through the strategic disappearance of jobs that provide the income from which that tax is collected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And what happened to Senator Ron Wyden? Ron Wyden who was all “transparency is my middle name”?

 

 

He is so unconcerned about transparency nowadays that he is perfectly content to vote for the constitution-violating process known as “Fast Track” technically termed Trade Promotion Authority [TPA] because it gives all the AUTHORITY to the President (removing any amending capability from the Congress, meaning no changes whatsoever) to approve a trade agreement corporations have helped craft and members of congress can’t even keep a copy of. Seriously. Members of Congress can only read the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement in a locked room and aren’t allowed to take their cell phones or a pen inside and have been forbidden to talk about what they read. So guess who they can’t talk about it with. THEIR CONSTITUENTS. Hmm … I wonder who that would benefit.

 

 

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Corporations.

 

 

 

 

Sound like a reason for concern? Put it this way, would you sign a pre-nup before you had a look-see? This is the lawyers hashing it out, with no consent from either husband or wife regarding the terms of the final contract. (And remember, they’ll be billed hourly. Do the lawyers have a monetary incentive to make a divorce as painful and drawn out as possible? Why, yes! They DO!!)

 

 

So now that Senator Traitor, the one Senator who had the power to stop this whole messy charade in its tracks, has gone to the dark side, it’s one hundred percent relevant that he pulled this same self-serving passive-aggressive rigamarole in 2013. Section 215 ring a bell? Oh, yeah, that time he tried to entrap DNI Clapper into committing a felony and disclosing classified information about the metadata collection. Uh huh, yes, the lying under oath to Congress Snowden was rightfully pissed off about. This is what happened: Pawn Wyden put Clapper in the position of choosing — on the spot on live national television — between answering the question, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” with the word no and committing perjury OR answering the question with the word yes and committing a felony. Nice.

 

 

You can watch the exchange here starting at 3:27 (it should start playing at that moment if all embeds well):

 

 

 

But here’s how Senator Wyden has doubly betrayed his oath to the constitution: he not only already knew about Section 215 because everyone on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence knew about it because they had ALL previously been informed by Clapper himself in a private letter all the way back in 2011, but, as a US Senator, Wyden has something known as “absolute free speech.” This literally means that he could read the *unredacted* Senate Torture Report, in its entirety, on CSPAN, without repercussion. (Well, he might not get re-elected. Then again, a whole new generation might show up to the polls for him.) Or any classified redacted document … including the Section 215 letter (the one from Clapper to the SSCI outlining the metadata collection from 2011). So, instead of, say, taking a picture of it with his phone and posting it on instagram or tweeting that Section 215 letter one word at a time to all his super supportive followers and letting the ACLU know he’s got some juicy retweet fodder, what does he do? He asks a question he knows the DNI is forbidden to answer truthfully when all along, Wyden could have blown the whistle himself! And should have! What a passive-aggressive hypocrite. To really put it in perspective, Wyden could have done exactly what Snowden ended up doing before Snowden — and maybe Snowden never would have!

 

 

To really put it in perspective, Wyden could have done exactly what Snowden ended up doing before Snowden — and maybe Snowden never would have!

 

Ironically, Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA, put it best: “Ron Wyden was trying to trick Jim Clapper into making an admission of classified information that Ron Wyden didn’t have the courage to make himself.” Really think about that (and you can watch him say it in the video below starting at 1:01:50). Hayden is not only saying that Wyden is a coward, he’s saying that if Wyden HAD had the balls to tell the People about Section 215, it would have been courageous! An act of bravery to disclose that classified information. Michael Hayden probably didn’t even realize what he said but his words are tantamount to a request for whistleblowing.

 

 

Once again, my tweets say it shortest and sweetest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now watch this incredible short video made by true patriot Congressman Alan Grayson on the economic evisceration perpetrated by our Congress against our country through NAFTA, and how the TPP is NAFTA on steroids. Anyone who supports the TPP actively desires not only the erosion of our income tax base through the disappearance of our INCOME (via the elimination of our JOBS), they actively desire that we no longer have funds to pay the public servants who make up the agencies of our federal government. Then ask yourself who benefits if we can no longer afford to have a functioning FBI, CIA, FTC, or even an FDA. Now how about a functioning Justice Department. Guess everyone could just languish in prison till they die and never get a trial. Gee, who benefits from that?

 

 

 

 

There’s still time. PLEASE call your Senators and ask them to vote NO on TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) aka Fast Track and no on the TPP altogether. What they need to hear you say are these exact words: “If you vote for TPA, I will vote for your opponent come election day.” Click here to find your Senator’s phone #.

 

 

And oh, yeah, this little reminder about Wyden and Nike sleeping together in the same filthy bed.

 

RE-BLOG: Q & A with Sarah Reynolds, Interview by Activist Joslyn Stevens

The following text is re-blogged with permission from JoslynStevens.com from her blog post entitled “Q & A with Sarah Reynolds.” Joslyn is a social justice activist who promotes income equality and the #RaiseTheWage movement, like myself. I was lucky enough to receive a DM from her asking me if I would like to be interviewed as part of her series of weekly Q & A’s with people who are making a progressive difference in our country and the world. We share a love of Jesse Ventura, Ralph Nader, and the Bill of Rights, and I admire her independent, 3rd party-loving passion and drive for truth and justice so of course I couldn’t wait to see what awesome topics she would come up with for me to write about. Please check out her blog when you have a chance and be sure to follow her on twitter at @JoslynStevens. If you enjoy her thought-provoking questions below, please click here to be taken directly to the original post in order to like and share. And if you enjoyed my thought-provoking answers, please like this post. Your comments are welcome, as always. Especially from any patriots who might want to be interviewed in Nathan Hale Park and talk about the (opposite of how a) Patriot (would) Act and closing Gitmo.

 

This week I spoke to Sarah Reynolds, author, messenger, and millennial about our government’s abuse of its power, what it means to be a patriot, and why there’s still time for the Millennial generation to change things.

 

Last month in North Carolina over 80,000 people came out for a Moral Monday protest against extreme austerity and the other weekend close to 100,000 Australians protested the corruption of their prime minister and government. I know you are a big fan of signing online petitions to bring about change but it seems a more hands on approach is necessary. In terms of citizen engagement, do you think petitions are just as an effective form of activism as opposed to hitting the streets?

A. If not more effective. What I’ve noticed — and this is so so unfortunate — is that when people’s commute is lengthened by protesters in
the street blocking the flow of traffic, the protest’s purpose (to shed light on an injustice) is actually now associated in the bystander’s mind
with the pain and discomfort of an inconvenience. People are funny. If you piss them off on the way home from work, they’ll hate you for a long time. It’s that whole primal reward and punishment part of the brain we have to appeal to as activists if we’re going to motivate the unaware and inactive to read up on issues and take action.

 

It’s my thought that if those same number of activists spent the same number of hours door-knocking, registering people to vote, and organizing monthly meetups where people engage in calling, post-carding and letter writing to Congress, that we would get a lot further a lot faster in our efforts to achieve progress. I always tweet that a petition a day keeps the fascism away and then follow up with the line from the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law…prohibiting…the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Any time we exert pressure on our rulers (politicians) to get what we want instead of what monied interests want, we are petitioning authority. And sustained pressure will be the key to our progress – we’ve got to request and remind, request and remind. Hey, Congress, Mr President, this is what we want.

 

And then, we have to remind these elected officials that they work for us. The day we turn 18, we become the employer of 4 federal employees: the President, our 2 U.S. Senators, and our 1 U.S. Representative. Yes, elected officials have the authority, but we have the power — the power to keep them on the payroll or vote them out.

 

By the same token, the history in our country of the right to peacefully assemble is very interesting: the right to gather became enshrined in the
1st Amendment because the Crown had prevented the early American colonists from gathering and discussing the issues of the day by making town meetings illegal. Essentially, King George knew if people could get together and share ideas, they would soon start organizing and protesting injustice and revolting against tyranny. Organization is like rocket fuel to a movement. Additionally, I 100% agree with you that taking to the streets is a great way to publicize a cause — and as long as the emphasis is on signing a petition, and writing, and calling Congress as soon as everyone gets home, I’m all for it, as step 1 in a 2 Part Action Plan.

 

 

You are passionate about and committed to seeing Gitmo closed and filmed yourself calling Obama on this issue. Here we are over 5 years into Obama’s presidency and Guantanamo Bay is still open and at least 76 prisoners, who have been exonerated, remain captive. What’s going on?

A. There are two issues here: the transfer of the 76 cleared-for-release “detainees,” or as you more accurately put it, prisoners, and the remaining 79 men who really could be charged and tried for crime in federal court or a military commission. But Congress has repeatedly passed legislation that prevents them from being transferred to the United States from Cuba. President Obama said in January of this year that, “The executive branch must have the authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees.” Ironically, the desires of the executive branch shouldn’t have anything to do with why they get charged and tried in federal court.

 

They should get charged and tried in federal court because Camp Justice should never have come into existence; there should never have been off-the-grid interrogations at Gitmo or anywhere else. AUMF — the travesty of legislation known as the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed in the wake of 9/11 — is the only thing that allowed a “detention facility” off US soil used to hold people indefinitely without charge or trial to be built in the first place. You know, they could hurry up and do the military commissions right at Gitmo. They’re not doing that because of lack of evidence or evidence that was obtained through torture – so by delaying trial, Fed Gov is essentially admitting that they couldn’t get the guilty verdicts they want. And the truth is that there is a very real possibility that men who are guilty of engaging in terrorist acts could go free after a not-guilty verdict is rendered because the burden of proof that a trial requires might not be satisfied.

 

There’s a cost/benefits analysis built into our justice system: the founding fathers, the framers of our constitution, believed that it would be better if a hundred guilty people went free (due to lack of satisfying the burden of proof) than for one single innocent person to end up imprisoned for a crime they didn’t commit. This was their mathematical formula — a justice to injustice ratio! — for calculating the value of preventing injustice. They valued preventing injustice (wrongful imprisonment) 100 times more than getting justice (“rightful” imprisonment). Our entire court system is predicated on this concept, the idea and ideal that the price to prevent injustice is the cost of lost justice, and the founders had decided that the resulting margin of error was one that society should accept and be happy to pay, for the greater good.

 

And for a very specific greater good: to protect the common man or woman from a corrupt government that would plant evidence and/or charge the innocent – as an act of retaliation for protesting that government corruption – with crimes they did not in fact commit. So the founders made the guilty conviction a lot harder than the not-guilty one: the prosecutor has to sell 12 people (a whole jury) on guilt whereas the defense attorney only has to sell one person on doubt of that guilt. So due process ends up being a lot like the Yelp review filter: not all the guilty get caught but only a very few innocent people end up wrongly categorized.

 

The other half of the delay is the incredible amount of money that is being made from Gitmo: 2.7 million dollars a year isn’t the cost of each Gitmo detainee – it’s the price. The cost is less, so there’s a profit. Just the building being open is causing the whole Bill of Rights-violating set-up to act as a source of profit for an untold number of people. And that is the primary reason I believe that Congress doesn’t budge on the transfers – the military industrial complex is lobbying against it, and that means lots of re-election campaign funding dollars for lots of representatives and senators. Again, sustained pressure is the key: request and remind, request and remind.

 

 

Like many others, I love Jesse Ventura’s no-bullshit approach to the truth especially when it comes to confronting the greed of the one percent. Ventura has held office before and isn’t ruling out a 2016 run. Why do think a presidential ticket of Jesse Ventura and Dennis Kucinich would be good for America?

A. Oh, yes — my dream ticket would have Ventura for President, Kucinich for Vice President. Call it the Progressive Patriot Party. I love Jesse
Ventura!! And I love Dennis Kucinich — the man carries a copy of the Constitution around with him in his pocket. I LOVE YOU, DENNIS, if you’re  reading this. (Kidding … mostly kidding). But seriously. I was seventeen and a senior in high school when Jesse Ventura ran for Governor in Minnesota in the fall of ’98. I missed being old enough to vote for him by six weeks — I was so disappointed that I didn’t get to vote in that
election. I was so excited about him as an independent politician. He had such an aura about him, what you refer to, Joslyn, as the no-bullshit,
take-no-prisoners, doesn’t suffer-fools-gladly approach, along with this neighborly, down to earth, what we call a true Minnesotan, personality. He just says what he’s thinking.

 

He’s not trying to polish it up or impress anyone, he speaks the truth and isn’t afraid to make a mistake, knowing full well the media will beat him over the head with the reminder of it every chance they get. He can handle it. We know he wants minimal government interference in personal preferences and civil liberties (like gay marriage, drug use, abortion, etc) but he understands that some things are better socialized, like the military. He’s a SEAL so he gets that while we ought to have a military (what I call the original Department of Homeland Security), we certainly don’t need to be spending billions of dollars every year enriching private security contractors like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, etc. Not only is it more expensive, it’s not wise to ever give anyone an incentive to prolong war.

 

What a dangerous game that kind of greed engenders — building F35′s that don’t fly is the tip of the iceberg. And Kucinich is such an old school democrat. He really understands that he is to represent the people in everything he does, and that without taking care of our planet, future generations will be left with a legacy of ever increasing cancer rates due to chemicals in the air and water, that no mater how cheap nuclear power is, the costs of the inevitable tragic meltdown are far greater — and he said this years before Fukushima. He wants us to be done with war for profit (voted against invading Iraq post-9/11) and supports Medicare for All, as just one step in achieving income equality. The man loves his country and everyone in it, let’s put it that way. He proposed a Department of Peace and wants us to pull out of NAFTA – I love this guy.

 

 

Many people-powered political uprisings have been the result of food insecurity, a global problem, in countries like Egypt. Here, we have over 46 million people living in poverty so we’re seeing more families going hungry and food pantries popping up on college campuses. Given repeated cuts to the SNAP program and congress’ continued proposals to steal Social Security from seniors, do you see Americans finally having our own Arab Spring?

A. I hope it never comes to that because revolutions involve such chaos: women get raped, children have to witness horror, schools shut down, hospitals get looted — revolutions are hell, second only to hell of war itself. That’s the extreme side of it, of course. Can they be worth the outcome? Yes, definitely. I remain somewhat skeptical of the six of one, half a dozen of the other dictator-switch that happens so often in the Arab world. What I would like to see blossom in the hearts and minds of Americans are the buds of awareness of our own collective power. The people of Tunisia took to the streets because they do not have have the right to vote for representatives in a democratic republic also known as a constitutional republic (our system) or anything remotely close to our referendums and other forms of direct democracy.

 

We have the power here in the U.S. And more and more people are waking up to the responsibility that having power requires us to take. Social Security is a good example. President Obama and party-line dems thought they could pass chained CPI and the American people wouldn’t bat an eye last year. Wrong. We called, we wrote, we signed the petitions. And we did it – we succeeded at getting chained CPI off the table. This past summer we collectively prevented an attack on Syria the same way. It was amazing! Again it started out as a “support the President; you love Obama, right? Cuz you totally just re-elected him so do what he says, okay, you guys?” and we were all like, no. I wrote my Rep and my two Senators, and called all three and tweeted at them and told them, “hey, I voted for you before and I was happy to do it. You support an attack on a country that is not a threat to us? I’ll be writing in Nathan Hale in the next election, thanks.”

 

If more people continue to wake up and take action, and realize that we the people are in the superior position in the power/control/authority dynamic with our elected representatives, we won’t ever need an actual in-the-streets revolution. But good point on Social Security – they don’t quit, do they? If it’s not chained CPI, it’s Abby Huntsman saying we have to raise the age or reduce benefits. No, we can just remove the income cap, Abby, and tax all income, not just the first $117,000 per year, at the same rate. So all of us normal people with a moral compass that tells us to make sure the elderly aren’t starving in their old age have to keep reacting to the anti-Social Security crowd’s ploys with sustained pressure, the same way  corporate lobbyists do, by informing Congress, “Don’t do what we want, we’ll find someone who will — next election.”

 

 

“There are two ways to get and maintain justice: protest the injustice and demand that a specific solution be implemented by those in the position of authority to make it happen OR occupy a position of authority and implement it yourself.” Our government isn’t listening to us so I take your quote to mean that more people need to run as Independents at the local level to bring about justice. Thoughts?

 

A. Oh, you read my blog post on “How to Adopt A Zero Tolerance for Weakness in Yourself”! Yes, more people ought to run as independents or even as democrats and republicans with either a progressive or libertarian bent, and not just at the local level, the federal level too. You know I eschew labels and will always say, “I’m not a can of soup so labels are not going to stick to me” because it’s part of this #OpDivideAndConquer, and by that I mean a strategic effort to use language that induces the feeling of Us and Them, Left and Right, and inevitably, right and wrong. And once people are divided, they’re conquered. And once they’re conquered, they stop speaking up because they think it doesn’t matter. So is the government really not listening to us or is it that not enough people are talking? Well, okay, yes – a combination of both. But one thing is for sure: the more we talk, the more they listen. And not the louder we talk.

 

The more: the frequency of protests (calls, letters, petitions, gatherings on a consistent basis) and the quantity of the people doing the protesting (in every state, organized, if by city, all the better). And we’ve got to stop viewing politicians through the lens of their self-adhered labels (which often turn out to be masks) too. I ask myself, what does this politician believe and believe in? Are they likely to stand up to greed in both its expressions, and protest greed for power and greed for money? Or are they lying liarpaths with the moral compass of styrofoam? Then I make my decision from there, regardless of whether they call themselves democrat, republican, green, independent, libertarian, or what have you. It’s really a common misperception that the party of individual congresspeople matters at all — we remind them, “you work for us. You don’t do what we want, you don’t keep your job. Bottom line.”

 

 

Thanks to Edward Snowden, Americans are now aware of the National Security Agency and their illegal data collection of our every communication. However, the Fourth Amendment 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act is supposed to provide some protection from government intrusion but it’s outdated and allows for the same thing. What do you think is the purpose for all of this data mining aside from “keeping us safe”?

A. And don’t forget President Reagan’s Executive Order 12333: “Most of NSA’s data collection authorized by order Ronald Reagan issued.” As I have said in the past, I love a good conspiracy theory as much as any Millennial daughter of a liberal Boomer, and if my mom were alive today, she would love that Snowden brought Ellsberg out of “whistleblower retirement,” if you will. And Ellsberg makes an excellent point that via PRISM, the system is in place for anyone to be blackmailed for anything by the NSA: with the literally limitless capacity to collect the details of our entire lives via our internet trails, the government could use the kind of porn we watch, the affairs we’re having, or the political candidates or political movements we might have preferred to keep supporting anonymously, or anything — any random seemingly innocuous site we visited without a second thought — against us. And how the Stasi worked most pervasively was to use the intel it gathered on/against certain individuals to get those easier targets to then provide the juicy and/or gory details of the deep dark secrets of the un-spy-on-able harder targets. So let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s a huge conspiracy. Maybe it is.

 

But I really don’t think it’s as sinister as gathering secrets to set up a Stasi network. I’m going to say it’s pure greed. If I were a betting woman, I would bet the house on greed for money, plain and simple. Piles and piles of money — our tax dollars — are sitting there and these war mongers want to rake in the money pile. “Oh, we need even more data to protect us from the Terr’ists, so hire more analysts, build more data centers, and don’t forget to outsource wherever possible at a 300% markup compared to in-house spies.” The desire to profit from everything as much as possible – unbridled greed – will be the cause of the fall of our empire before any other catalyst.

 

But … on the off chance there is something sinister going on, let me stress here that it’s imperative that we demand that our elected
representatives repeal the entire USA PATRIOT Act, and not just section 215. After all, Snowden said in his Greenwald interview that the NSA was hell bent on “making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.” Ellsberg describes this as “a global expansion of the Stasi, the Ministry for State Security in the Stalinist ‘German Democratic Republic,’ whose goal was ‘to know everything.’”

 

And just in case, have everyone sign this one too:  It’s a letter to your 2 Senators and 1 Rep asking them to support the Email Privacy Act, which would require law enforcement to get a warrant to view any email, the same as the law currently requires now for them to read any of our regular USPS mail.

 

 

On your website you write about patriotism, dying for your country, and giving thanks to those who have. It’s a word proudly claimed by conservatives who don’t really know the true meaning. What is patriotism?

A. Patriotism is true unconditional love for everyone in your country. The true patriot is happy to die for any American — not just the ones who share the same political beliefs. I try to wrap my mind and my heart around being willing to die for anyone in our country at any time. Every time I get trolled on twitter, I think, “hey, this person is expressing their right to freedom of speech, the same as I am” and I block them and move on. But the soldier, the vet, the true patriot – they’re happy to die so the troll can tweet word-vomit, you can blog about raising the wage, I can tweet @whitehouse every single night to close Gitmo, and the tea partiers can tell the President that Obamacare is communism. To the true patriot, all that matters is that someone always be there, ready and willing to give their life on demand as payment on an insurance policy against tyranny, as the premium that will insure that no government does to us again what the government we revolted against did to us.

The Founders delineated those tyrannical injustices with the Bill of Rights to insure that we’d be protected from specific violations. Freedom of speech is just one of many rights, but here’s an example using it. People will quote Voltaire and say, “I may detest what you say, but I will defend to the teeth your right to say it.” The true patriot lives this idealism as a lifestyle, always ready to die – to defend to *the death* – our right to protest injustice and object to abuse of power by authority, our right to practice any religion we choose, our right to be free from religion, our right to bear arms, our right to free speech and a free press, the right to a jury trial, the right to remain silent and make the accuser prove whether or not we’ve actually done something wrong in a court of law, the right to gather in protest or to gather to organize and discuss the government’s unjust actions out in the open, and the list goes on and on. That’s love – being willing to die for freedom, not because any specific person has earned it with behavior that deserves it, but simply because freedom itself is worth dying for.

 

 

Last week you tweeted, “Not voting at the polls is the same as voting with our silence for everything to stay the same.” Despite the high level of voter apathy and low approval of congress, voting matters and it’s a right we still have. It seems congress would prefer that we not vote so they can go back to pretty much electing themselves like they did before the 17th amendment. What do you think?

A. Well, members of congress definitely count on apathy to get re-elected, that’s for sure. Apathy, I believe, comes from a shortage of time. People literally don’t have the time to care: at the end of the day, after dealing with their survival needs (working, taking care of offspring, etc.), they’re literally and figuratively spent. The 24 hours in their Time Account is tapped out and they have to go to sleep, without one minute left to read an article or sign a petition. And you make a great point — prior to the 17th Amendment, it was state legislatures that elected each state’s U.S. Senators.

 

In my state, the only reason pro-consumer, anti-Citizens United, Al Franken was able to win the senate race was because he was running in 2008, the same year people turned out in droves to elect Barack Obama and many — but not all — voted for Franken because they voted Democrat all the way down the ticket (it was such a close call here in Minnesota that there had to be a recount of all the ballots and it took months). There’s a very real possibility that Senator Franken will not be re-elected this fall because the people simply don’t turn out to vote in high enough numbers for Senate and House elections for the outcomes to represent the actual desires of the populace, so in a way, it’s as if the 17th amendment is repealed by default.

 

The same party-line establishment dems and republicans are predominantly the ones who take the time to go and vote in those elections, so yeah, it might as well be the state legislatures choosing the Senate, the same as it was pre-Amendment 17. I call this winning by a default plurality– probably every politician holding office in our country won because the majority of people didn’t vote at all.

 

I’m always so sad when I meet people who do not realize how lucky they are to live in a country where we get to vote. I’ll never forget going with my mom to vote when I was 7, in the Bush/Dukakis election in 1988: she lifted me up in the tiny booth to show me the ballot and explained that people had died for us to be free of a monarchy, to be able to elect our leaders, and that those people, during the Revolutionary War, didn’t fight so that they would get the right to vote, because they wouldn’t get to, and they knew it. They knew they were going to die on a bloody battlefield. No, they fought so that we would get the right to vote. And they were happy to die, to put another generation’s happiness above their own.

 

I am so thankful for the right to have my voice and opinion literally counted – I know I’m honoring all vets, living or dead, when I cast my ballot. It’s not an option or an obligation to me, it’s a true privilege. I love voting – I try to take the day off work when I can and enjoy the whole day of being alive and not living under a monarchy or a fascist regime.

 

 

You’ve been on hiatus for almost a year now from blogging and posting Youtube videos mainly using Twitter to communicate your message for social and economic justice and to incite progressive action. When can we expect you back?

 

A. Spring time is always a productive time of year for me — in some ways, I do hibernate during winter which here in Minnesota lasts about 5 months; some years, it’s even longer. On the calendar for this spring is more Nathan Hale Park Interviews (the snow has to melt off the bench though or my butt gets wet during the interview), and specifically I’d like to interview someone from my co-op, the Mississippi Market, about how they run a business paying everyone a liveable wage and how that same business model could be applied to large companies. I’m a huge proponent of the #FifteenNow movement for a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage and it would be a dream interview to have Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant on the bench to discuss how she mobilized an entire city to vote for her and support her $15/hr minimum wage agenda.

 

I’d also love to interview Colonel Morris Davis and Coleen Rowley about being whistleblowers: his first hand experience with the Gitmo military commissions and her front end experience with terrorist act prevention. And I’d really like the opportunity to have a conversation with CIA Director John Brennan if he had a chance to make it out to St Paul some time. I’d ask him a few questions about the differences between the PATRIOT Act and how a Patriot would actually act. I’d also like to pitch to him my idea for an overt op (like a covert op, only different) for closing Gitmo: what it would be is a collaborative effort to meet with every single member of Congress, 535 people, in 90 days, to get them to pass the legislation required to transfer all the men in Gitmo to a prison on U.S. soil and finally close the detention facility in Cuba for good. I would be the warm sell, he would be the deal closer. Gitmo isn’t going to get closed until someone on the inside comes forward and says, hey, what we did by opening this prison was not good (or “was the best decision we could make under the circumstances at the time”), but we can stop doing it now. I’m all about idealism so my gift is inspiring people to consider doing the right thing.

 

To actually get Congress to vote to close Gitmo will require upping the ante: someone who can apply sustained pressure and make good use of the power of persuasion. That person needs to be big and scary and federal, in order to radiate the sense of safety and confidence necessary to convey that “bad guys” getting transferred to a prison in the U.S. will not be the end of the world. As I always say, it really could be worse – instead of (alleged) terrorists, they could be child pornographers and child rapists; and we give those people a trial in a court of law, don’t we? To put it into perspective, those kinds of pedophiles aren’t under a religious delusion that violence is justified; they’re fully aware that they are hurting minors and/or profiting from it. Bin Laden’s stated goal was to ruin our country financially — he wasn’t even trying to morally bankrupt us, but here were are 12 years later holding people without charging them with, or trying them for, a crime, 76 of whom could be released. Indefinite detention is torture! There must be someone inside the intelligence community who is brave enough and patriotic enough to volunteer to help Congress realize it’s not too late — that there’s still time to restore our nation’s moral authority, what President Obama called our greatest currency in the world.

 

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Joslyn! I love your passion and drive — it’s so inspiring. It’s up to our generation to shift the paradigm and it’s people like us who are making it happen right now.

The Scent of Patriotism

 

 

Have you seen this 4th of July themed candle? As soon as I saw this red, white and blue jar of love in the store, I felt compelled to rush up to it, yank it off the shelf, and deeply inhale its fragrance. My libertarian friend happened to be there at the time and of course she had the perfect response. Here is how the actual conversation went down.

 

Me (finally exhaling): Ah — the scent of patriotism.

Friend: Umm — I’m pretty sure patriotism smells like blood and sweat.

Me: Hello? Bottom layer — tears.

 

The Scent of Patriotism

 

On that note, let’s give thanks today, and not for scented candles. For those who’ve bled for us, sweated for us, and cried over the loss of people they loved who were happy to die, not so that they would enjoy freedom but so that we would.

 

We get to vote – because people died for this freedom.

We get to complain (out loud, in writing, on twitter, via a blog, in letters to the Editor) about the government — because people died for this freedom.

We get to complain TO the government and petition it for a redress of grievances — because people died for this freedom.

We get to have a jury trial if accused of a crime and all 12 people have to be convinced of our guilt before we are deprived of our life, liberty and property because we are presumed innocent until the burden of proof is met by the government — because people died for this freedom.

 

And more. Much more. I get to have a gun if I want, I get to face my accuser if accused of a crime, I get to remain silent when the police try to get me to self-incriminate, I get a lawyer even if I can’t afford one, I get to accuse someone if they hurt me, and the government pays for that trial, I get paid money to work and I can quit anytime I want to if I don’t like that job (because slavery is illegal), I get to worship God in any manner I choose and government can’t keep from worshiping that way, and if I don’t want to participate in religion, government can’t force me to; and I get to gather with fellow concerned citizens in front of government buildings to protest corruption if I do it peacefully.

 

If you follow me on twitter, you know I’m quite concerned with a number of unconstitutional laws, such as the PATRIOT Act, NDAA, the FISA amendments, and more — but today is a day for gratitude. And here’s why: any freedoms we lose will not be lost because there weren’t enough patriots happy to die for our freedom on the battlefield of war. Our freedoms will have been lost because there were not enough patriots happy to endure the pain involved in objecting to abuse of power by authority and enduring the consequences of petitioning that authority for a redress of grievances — while still alive. So on this day, Independence Day, I celebrate all of those Revolutionary War Vets who gave their lives so that 237 years later, I could tweet @whitehouse every single day to remind the President that indefinitely detaining people without charge or trial is unconstitutional. If there’s a way to measure the intensity and quantity of thankfulness I feel for these Revolutionary War patriots every time I speak up, out, and against government injustice and don’t get get publicly executed to set an example for anyone else who thinks they might want to follow suit, or disappear, I haven’t figured it out yet.

 

Also on this day, let’s remember that “freedom” is not intangible. People who are patriotic to the point of being happy to die for their country have assigned a value to their own lifespan, viewing those potentially lost years of life as currency they can use to pre-pay to insure that no government does to us the people — ever again — what the government we originally revolted against did to us, including our own.

 

 

Happy 4th of July.

Ask your Congressperson and Senators: Please Oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership

 

There’s still time to prevent the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, a.k.a. NAFTA on steroids, from becoming the law of the land. Please click this Roots Action link and enter your zip code. There you will see a form letter that you can edit to your satisfaction which will be sent to the President, your two U.S. Senators and your one Representative. The text they provide is very short, so please feel free to copy and paste my letter below and use that text instead. It is almost verbatim the text that Public Citizen provides on this “Expose the TPP” page.

 

As your constituent, I urge you to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

 

The TPP would provide big banks with a backdoor means of rolling back efforts to re-regulate Wall Street in the wake of the global economic crisis.

 

The TPP would require domestic law to conform to the now-rejected model of extreme deregulation that caused the crisis. The TPP would forbid countries from banning particularly risky financial products, such as the toxic derivatives that led to the $183 billion government bailout of AIG.

 

The TPP would threaten the use of “firewalls” – policies that are employed to stop the spread of risk between different types of financial institutions and products. While many in the United States have called for a reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, that helped eliminate banking crises for four decades by prohibiting deposit-holding commercial banks from dealing in risky investments, the TPP would bar such reform. The TPP would ban capital controls, an essential policy tool to counter destabilizing flows of speculative money. Even the International Monetary Fund has recently endorsed capital controls as legitimate for mitigating or preventing financial crises.

 

The TPP would prohibit taxes on Wall Street speculation. That means that there would be no hope of passing proposals like the Robin Hood Tax, which would impose a tiny tax on Wall Street transactions to tamp down speculation-fueled volatility while generating hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of revenue for social, health, or environmental causes.

 

The TPP would empower financial firms to directly attack these government policies in foreign tribunals, and demand taxpayer compensation for policies they claim undermine their expected future profits.

 

At the core of this unjust trade agreement is the violation of our own United States Constitution because the TPP would render the decisions of secret tribunals sovereign to the decisions of our own courts. Please commit to opposing the TPP and using your considerable influence as a member of Congress to prevent this  tragedy from becoming the law of the land.

 

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Take Action: Ask Senator Franken & Judiciary Subcommittee to Release the Memos on Obama Administration’s Targeted Killing Program Using Drones

From my friends at the ACLU: Help the ACLU of Minnesota protect civil liberties

Ask the hard questions about the government’s secret killing program.
On Tuesday, April 23, the Senate will hold its first-ever hearing on drones and the targeted killing program in which an estimated 4,700 people across two continents have been killed, including four American citizens.  Please send Senator Franken a clear, strong message that you are watching and are expecting him to ask the hard questions about the government’s secret killing program.  And, on Tuesday at 10 am, you can tune in to the hearing here. 
Here’s the letter I sent to Senator Franken; part of it is form letter that the ACLU provided. The parallel drawn between viewing bin laden’s 9/11 airplanes as manned aerial vehicles and viewing drones as unmanned aerial vehicles is my own.
Dear Senator Franken,
I am thrilled that the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee is about to hold its first-ever hearing on drones and the killing program that has killed an estimated 4,700 people across two continents, including four American citizens. I am grateful to the many Senators who have been calling on the Obama administration to release its legal memos on when it believes any president can order the Pentagon and the CIA to kill people far from any battlefield.

Terrorists are supposed to be the ones who execute people they determine to be criminals without the charging of the accused with a crime, without affording them a jury trial, and without obtaining a guilty verdict first. Not the United States.Whether terrorists orchestrate flying manned aerial vehicles (airplanes) into buildings in order to execute people they believe to be guilty or our government orchestrates flying unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) into sovereign airspace in order to execute people it believes to be guilty, the result is the same: the violation of the longstanding principles of the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and due process via jury trials in courtrooms where evidence of premeditation and guilt are presented. When bin laden’s attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 led to the onset of the War on Terror, he was attempting to achieve the eventual financial destruction of our country. He didn’t succeed. Let his legacy not be the destruction of our 5th Amendment and due process in a court of law. Let bin laden’s legacy not be the destruction of what President Obama called in 2009 our strongest currency in the world, our moral authority.

 

 

Ordering the execution of human beings without charge or trial is what bin laden would have done — and did do. Targeted killing via the usage of drones is not only unconstitutional, immoral and unjust, it’s what terrorists would do.

While some senators have seen a handful of the eleven legal memos, it is imperative that all of the memos be available to all members of Congress and that minimally redacted copies be made public. And it is paramount that the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee charged with enforcing the rule of law, conduct robust oversight of the killing program.  I will be watching the hearing on Tuesday, and I want to hear you ask hard questions and demand clear answers about when the administration claims broad authority to kill people, including American citizens, far from any battlefield.
Sincerely,
Sarah Reynolds

Collecting Social Security via Flat Tax instead of a Regressive Tax would Fund it through 2080

First of all, since WordPress won’t let me embed the poll image inside a post and inside a widget, here’s the link to the poll or you can vote in the widget on the right hand side of this blog page.

 

The question is, should Social Security be funded via a flat tax instead of a regressive tax?

 

 

You probably know that income tax in the United States is progressive, meaning not only do you pay more dollars in tax the more you earn, you also pay a higher percentage of your income. A flat tax as an income tax would take one percentage — say 10% for easy math examples — and apply it across the board. So, the argument goes, yes, the person who makes $20,000 pays the same percentage as the person who makes $200,000, but the first person only pays $2,000 and the second pays the yearly income of the first person. The progressive tax takes into consideration that as you make more money, your quality of life is likely to increase as well and so from that stand point, the flat tax, although “consistent” is not “fair.”

 

 

Ironically, the Social Security tax of 6.2% is not even a flat tax. It does not come close to consistent, to say nothing of fair. It’s not fair. It is inconsistent and unjust. Here’s why:

 

The maximum amount anyone could possibly pay in SS payroll tax (6.2%) is $7,049: this is because only income up to $113,700 is taxed.

6.2% on $25k = $1550

6.2% on $35k = $2170

6.2% on $50k = $3100

6.2% on $75k = $4650

6.2% on $100k = $6200

6.2% on $113,700 = $7049 —-> the MAX anyone ever pays

 

 

Once you earn more than $113,700, you never pay  more than $7049. From thereon out, the percentage of your income that you pay into social security goes down — it decreases; i.e. it becomes a regressive tax.

So if you make $150k then $7,049 = 4.7% of your income.

If you make $200,000 then $7,049 = 3.5% of your income.

If you make $250,000 then $7,049 = 2.0% of your income.

If you make $500,000 then $7,049 = 1.4% of your income.

If you are a millionaire, you pay in 1/10th of one percent!

 

 

Is it fair? You do the math.

Bring Back Glass-Steagall and End Too Big To Fail

I just signed the petition to end “too big to fail” banks who had gotten so big in 2008 that when their risky investments went bust, their ruin threatened our entire economy. And instead of demanding a return to the commonsense and time-tested Glass-Steagall Act (which was passed in 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression because of the banks’ role in causing it), President Bush and Congress handed the banks big bailouts, paid for with our tax dollars and inflation of the money supply by the Federal Reserve.

 

Now, the consummate Wall Street insider, Sandy Weill, who successfully lobbied Congress to tear down the walls between Main Street banks and Wall Street by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 (after which he proceeded to build Citibank into the financial behemoth Citigroup), has come out on national television against the very changes he had advocated, the changes which helped create the “too big to fail” financial giants, saying:

 

What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking…Have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail.. That means we need to press our solution hard enough for them to hear us on the rest of Wall Street — and in Washington.

 

Let’s NEVER let these behemoth banks hold our economy hostage again. Let’s end “too big to fail.” Please join me in protesting the tragic injustice of the repeal of Glass-Steagall in ’99 and objecting to the abuse of power by authority that Congress and President Clinton perpetrated against an entire nation by not doing everything in their power to stop it.

 

This image came from the website of economic journalist Barry Ritholtz.

Take Action: Ask the House of Representatives to Impeach Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

I just learned from my friends at The Other 98% that Justice Clarence Thomas, along with Justice Antonin Scalia, has accepted paid vacations and speaking engagements at conservative think tanks, Koch Brother strategy retreats, and other conflict-of-interest-laden gatherings, just weeks before ruling on cases involving these groups, including Citizens United. This is a true tragedy, my fellow millennials and activists. How did we get here, to a reality where a United States Supreme Court Justice, while checking his online bank account in the morning, asks himself, “Hey, where did this million dollars come from? Oh, yeah, the health insurance company lobbyists who ‘suggested’ I decide the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.” We got here on the smooth road of Apathy and it was paved courtesy of a small group of people whose hearts are closed and cannot feel Love. After forgiving them, we are filled with all the passion for Truth and Justice that every member of the Supreme Court would ideally embody. With this passion and faith in the checks and balances of The System, I urge you to join me in signing this petition.

 

 

From The Other 98%:

Enough. Is. Enough.

It’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas.

We have a right to expect our Supreme Court to be impartial, fair, non-partisan and uncorrupted by money and access – but Associate Justice Clarence Thomas has so flagrantly betrayed these expectations, that there is no recourse left but to introduce articles of impeachment.

Justice Thomas “neglected” to report nearly a million dollars in household income made from lobbying related to cases before the court – and then, only made the disclosures when forced by legal obligation.

It’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas ignored the calls of 75 members of Congress (and over 100,000 Other 98% activists) to recuse himself from the Affordable Care Act ruling, despite standing to gain millions of dollars in household income through future anti-healthcare lobbying. He then ruled in a way that would make himself richer anyway.

It’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas, along with Justice Antonin Scalia, has accepted paid vacation junkets and speaking engagements at conservative think tanks, Koch Brother strategy retreats, and Tea Party gatherings – in a few cases just weeks before ruling on cases these interests had before the court, including Citizens United.

It’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas has made his partisan allegiances clear. And we must act. It is time to remove this corporate servant from a position where he can continue to cripple our democracy.

Any member of the House of Representatives can introduce the motion to Impeach – it literally takes a single member of Congress brave enough to do the right thing.

This simple step could do wonders for our national discourse – sending a clear message to members of the Court that they act in the public eye, and can no longer let their lifetime appointment be a cover for blatant corruption.

Let’s take that step together.

Party like it’s 1776

Happy 5th of July! Guess what is being clearanced out today because it’s the day after Independence Day?

 

 

 

 

Yes, these awesome paper plates!

 

 

I had an interesting 4th of July yesterday because a friend is staying with me right now till she moves into her new apartment next week. So I am experiencing some interdependence that is new to me and enjoying having someone around instead of my usual high degree of independence.

 

 

For a lot of people, the 4th is just another day off (or a day to get paid time and a half at both jobs like I did) but for me it is a day of gratitude. Here’s what I am super thankful for: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, the right to peacefully assemble, the right to due process and trial by jury in a court of law and the benefit of the doubt of my guilt and the presumption of my innocence, the right to bear arms, protection from torture (the 8th Amendment, although this one has been getting a lot of violation of late — haters gonna hate, Constitution violaters gonna violate), protection from the government searching my home and car without a warrant, the right to vote, and many many many other blessings and benefits we celebrate on the 4th of July, but most of all, the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Why? Because that First Amendment Right is the key to shifting the paradigm, starting at the top: the 7th chakra of Authority where the energy of anyone who influences our quantity and quality of life down in the 1st chakra of Survival resides (via the 7/1 chakra mirror).

 

 

When these rulers, whether members of government, religion, or other ruling bodies, can feel LOVE, they will no longer hurt others. Why? Because they’ll no longer desire to. These are the people who, once they can feel joy again, will no longer take action to declare needless war, profit from the pain and suffering of others, or engage in torture and indefinite detainment. Please join me in asking God to make us all the conduit for the healing power of divine love which will open the hearts of those people who occupy an authority position so that they no longer hurt others for a very logical reason: they will no longer desire to.

 

 

You might find it interesting to know that the Second Amendment right to bear arms was the Plan B of the Founders. They certainly hoped and intended that the six clauses (tools/weapons) of the First Amendment would prevent a recurrence of tyranny — and the recurrence of the use of actual tools and actual weapons as protected by the Second Amendment in a future Revolutionary War. James Madison, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither internal nor external controls on government would be necessary.” The fact that it occurred to them to insert a Plan B into the Bill of Rights is a testament to Jim’s sagacity and foresight (and Tom’s, and Ben’s, et al).

 

 

And the six rights/tools/weapons of the First Amendment of the Constitution that he and the other founders wanted to be available to every future generation to use in order to maintain freedom (and prevent another revolution)?

*Freedom of speech

*freedom of the press

*freedom of religion (government can’t prevent you from worshiping God the way you desire to)

*freedom from religion (government can’t force you to worship God at all)

*freedom to assemble (to gather peacefully for a cause)

*and the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

 

 

I am so thankful for the high degree of freedom and independence we enjoy here in the U.S. I thank anyone past and present who has given their life or even a few hours of their life to maintain these blessings. So let’s continue to protest injustice — the peaceful, nonviolent way — not only for ourselves but for the generations that will follow ours, and never take any of our freedoms for granted.

On Bullying: just walk away?

Bullying is an element of the 5/3 Communication/Power chakra mirror, where our action or inaction down in the third chakra, relating to power and control, is a reflection of a blockage up in the 5th chakra, relating to communication and silence. An open heart causes an open 5th chakra, indicated by respect-based communication which is then reflected down in the third chakra as the Power of Service. In this space of love, we serve humanity by communicating our desire for other people’s happiness.

 

 

Another element of the 5/3 chakra mirror from an open heart is protesting injustice and objecting to abuse of power. Bullies use words as weapons to threaten and attack because they feel compelled to assert dominance and leverage control (a compulsion which is caused by a closed heart and the inability to feel love). Openhearted people use words as tools to serve with love. Bullies often stop just short of physical violence because they know that would be illegal, but will use words as weapons just as cruelly. Forgiving them each night and pre-forgiving them each morning is an excellent way to act as the conduit for the healing power of love. And, we would ideally follow the act of forgiving or pre-forgiving with our own courageous objection of any injustice bullies would attempt to perpetrate against us. The BEST action to take, when being bullied, is to take out your cell phone camera and begin to film the person. I encourage any member of our society who is being bullied, no matter how young, to speak up, to be brave, and to protest injustice. Film yourself saying to the bully, “Please, leave me alone. I am asking you directly, to please leave me alone.” Keep repeating this request, over and over and over and over.

 

 

Many of us were taught by our Boomer and Gen X-er parents to “just walk away,” and ironically they were actually teaching us to do exactly what the bullies want. And what is it they want? To know that they can simply say the word and phonetics alone will cause another human being to move! Think how much physical energy it would take to pick up and move another person. The bully effects this same outcome using only psychic energy, via psychic, emotional, and verbal attack.

 

 

Other tips for dealing with bullies are …

  • when in the presence of the bully, to request & receive love from the other person’s guardian angel and your own guardian angel
  • when in the presence of the bully, to give the forgiveness prayer silently (“Please, God, let me be healed of all pain and sadness and filled with Love, let ______ be healed of all pain and sadness and filled with Love, and please don’t let ______ hurt anyone else the way s/he’s hurting me by bullying me.”)
  • to join in prayer with the guardian angels of all bullies anywhere in the Universe for their healing and happiness (“God, I join in prayer with the guardian angels of all bullies at my school and anywhere else in the Universe for all of them to be healed of all pain and sadness and filled with Joy by the Power of your Love.”)
  • to pre-forgive each morning with the Circle of Angels (“God, I join in prayer with the Circle of Angels that perpetually surrounds the Earth and envelops it in a cocoon of divine love: please let everyone on Earth be healed of all pain and sadness and filled with JOY by the power of your Love!”)

 

 

Now you may be asking,

 

Why would we want to desire the happiness of someone who has hurt us instead of their punishment?

 

There’s a logical reason for forgiving (also defined as desiring another person’s happiness not because they have earned it with behavior that has earned it, but simply because they exist, that is to say, to love them the way that God does, for no reason) and that is that forgiving people heals them and fills them with God’s Love. And people who can feel God’s Love don’t hurt others. Why not? Because they no longer have any desire to. In this way, forgiving not only heals people, it causes the prevention of future pain of the same nature.

 

 

Finally, let’s remember here that people talk to others the way they have been spoken to, especially by their most dominant and most present authority figures, usually their parents, whose energy resides “up in” the 5th chakra of communication. In other words, the bully almost definitely has a bully parent. Imagine having to go home to that after school. It makes neglect sound like a day at the beach, no? (Okay, a cold day at an overcast beach ….) So after you forgive the bully, you might add a second prayer for the healing and happiness of the bully’s parents, who undoubtedly use words and weapons, and possibly even fists and weapons as weapons. Their kids are doing at school and in life what they learned at home.