Republicans Defeat LGBT Rights Bill

In another shining non-bipartisan move geared toward taking rights away from LGBTQ American citizens, Republicans defeated a piece of legislation protecting the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees of government contractors.

The bill was an amendment to a veterans and military construction bill introduced by New York Democrat Sean Maloney and initially had the proper amount of “yes” votes to pass as according to the House Chamber. However, House Republicans extended the time line allowed for the vote as they urged enough party members to alter their vote. This succeeded, as enough Republicans changed their “yes” votes to a “no”–effectively bringing the vote to 213 AGAINST vs 212 FOR the measure. All 183 Democrats and 29 Republicans initially voted YES in favor of the measure. All 213 final votes of “No” were cast by Republicans. After the measure was defeated, shouts of “SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!” erupted in the House of Representatives.

So the next time you hear Republicans complaining about how no one will work with them, remember this. And remember all the obstructionism that the Republican party has been engaged in ever since 8 years ago when President Obama came into the White House. 8 years Republicans have been doing their best to obstruct legislation that would better the lives of thousands, most likely millions of Americans. Obama Care, any piece of pro LGBTQ legislation, etc. And now the obstructionism and croneyism and irresponsibility that the Republican party has shown are now coming home to roost in the form of Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee. The American people, whether they recognize it or not, the ones who are angry, are upset at the lack of things being accomplished to help the American people–the reason for a great deal of this anger is the Republican members of the Senate and House (though this does not exclude the Democrats who also bear part of the responsibility). The crazy thing is that these same angry members of the population don’t see that the people they’re angry at are the ones that are members of the same group that they affiliate themselves with. I think the worst thing about all this is that these angry members of the population, a great number of them, are also not in favor of Gay Rights–and so united in this prejudiced, discriminatory view, the Republicans are still getting power and gaining votes based on one faulty worldview. This is why some people are saying that this election will be important for the evolution of humanity, I feel. We, the People, must stand up and remove the blinders of prejudice that we allow to influence our judgment–removing the veil of fear to make the correct decision is the most important decision any voter could make for this election and every one thereafter. Fear of gays, fear of Muslims, fear of the government…all this shit needs to be done away with and the first place to start is voting every single Republican out of office who votes in favor of anti-gay legislation or anti-religious freedom bills. Going beyond Republicans, Democrats who vote in favor of protecting corporations and who vote in favor of legislation taking power away from the people also deserve to be voted out. This calls for a complete Progressive sweep of the Senate and House of Representatives. The politicians in power have let the American people down time and time again. We can’t trust anything they say and they expect the people to not do a damn thing. FUCKING TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THE ISSUES. TALK TO RANDOM PEOPLE ON THE STREET. START A BLOG. START A ZINE. WRITE, SING, MAKE ART ABOUT THE SHIT THAT FUCKING MATTERS. Stop fucking watching television that rots your brain. Reality TV is as far from reality as it gets. Sports are there to distract you and millions and billions of dollars are spent on that misdirection propaganda. When the news is talking about an emotional issue topic, take to the Internet to see what other news it’s covering up by making so much noise. You’re not blind, so help your friends to see.

Upset Ry,

Out.

Music for the Conscious and the Conscience: Nahko and Medicine for the People

So, this won’t be a regular thing on my blog, but today I want to post about a musical act that is making very important, prescient, and powerful music about the times that we’re living in. The band is called Nahko and Medicine for the People and their music has inspired me to be more conscious about the way that I’m living, to be more aware of the energy that I’m putting out into the world, and be more involved in the political process of where I’m living.

Nahko and Medicine for the People has music about personal issues, but also about the plain truth about the way that our country (and others) have committed genocide, rape, and murder in order to gain access to these lands and have continued to oppress various people all to attain some illusory goal of “Progress” and to spread this Progress as far as the eye can see. The band talks about spiritual awakenings and consciousness as well, mentioning reincarnation and spirit animals and how our relationships to our parents and grandparents are sacred and have the capacity to teach us more about life than we think they do, especially in today’s society where old people are seen as a burden instead of honored as they should be.

Nahko and Medicine for the People is a music about respect: respect for the Earth, respect for oneself, respect for the other, respect for your elders and respect for your brothers. It’s an awakened sensibility that has the capacity to awaken others, simply through the act of listening. The style that it’s in is very much like jam band music, but also peppered with influences from bluegrass, reggae, ska, and folk music. The arrangement is guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, violin, and various other instruments at certain points. Each band member has a different ethnicity, so in that way it’s very much a world music sensibility being put into the music as well. A music seeing us all as one world, one people, one love. I very much hope you check them out.  LINKS BELOW

nahko.com

https://www.youtube.com/user/medicineforthepeople

Voter Fraud in Nevada Democratic Convention

Nevada caucuses have three tiers–the first one showed the results in favor of Hillary (amid many cries of voter fraud). The second tier flipped the results to favor a Bernie Sanders victory. And then we enter the craziness that occurred in the third tier, the Nevada Democratic Convention.

The first tier on February 20th, 20 percent of the voters at the original caucus were missing valid ballots. Which meant that 20 percent of the delegates were up for grabs, meaning Hillary did not legitimately win the first round of caucuses, a fact that many are still leaving out.

Before the 3rd tier vote, because of the Bernie-flipping result, the Nevada Democratic Party knew that the result would most likely go to Bernie. So they changed the rules last minute. The Party changed the Nevada rules so that Nevada’s votes would be awarded to the winner of the February 20th vote (Hillary.) However, the Party also knew that educated people would make motions at the convention to object to this rule and that the motions would most likely pass…so THEY ALSO CHANGED THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY RULES SO THAT ALL VOTES ON THE FLOOR OF THE CONVENTION COULD ONLY BE DECIDED BY A VOICE VOTE (i.e. “All in favor say “aye”.) and that the results of the vote would only be decided by the Nevada Democratic Party chair Roberta Lange, and that her vote would be FINAL.

The day of the 3rd tier vote, the first item on the agenda was for those TEMPORARY RULES mentioned above to pass. It was done with a paper ballot, but was also conducted 30 minutes early, before the voting was actually to begin–Clinton supporters who may or may not have known that this would take place vastly outweighed the others who showed up early. The vote passed. NEXT, A MOTION TO HAVE A RE-VOTE OF THE TEMPORARY RULES WAS DEMANDED BY CITIZENS. INSTEAD, ROBERTA LANGE HELDS A VOICE VOTE THAT THE TEMPORARY RULES WOULD STAY. Resounding NAYS overwhelmed the AYES, but Lange ruled that the vote passed and the temporary rules stayed. Video footage of that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5srPXtJV0V0

After that, 64 Sanders delegates were ejected from the convention because “they didn’t have the proper credentials”even though they did. They weren’t allowed to prove that they were credentialed. Most of these delegates were Sanders supporters–in the end, Hillary won by 30  votes.

BY THE RULE CHANGE and delegate suppression there is a change of 8 net delegates. Instead of Bernie winning by 19-16, the result is 20-15 Clinton now.

Taking all of this into account, it’s not too surprising that there have been massive outcries–some appropriate, some not, about everything from the Nevada Democratic Party to Roberta Lange. Some death threats and misogynistic remarks peppered the Internet immediately following the chaos caused by the Nevada Democratic Convention. The media has portrayed Bernie Sanders as being “belligerent” in his remarks in response to the reactions of his supporters, but at the same time only providing a snippet of what his full response was. Different article headings include saying that Sanders refuses to apologize or that his statement was weak. Suspiciously, the full Sanders statement is very hard to find on the Internet. A half hour search from me yielded nothing but these lines from Sanders: “Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals.” And then of course after these lines only a parroted line about how Sanders went on to explain his followers’ reasons rather than stopping there, saying that Sanders is defending his supporters, the ones who issued threats included. However, as we have all seen, the media has a script to repeat, and honestly, I’m glad that Sanders did not apologize for this supporters and what they did. He has condemned it and that’s enough–it’s up to the supporters to apologize for what they did. The fact is that the democratic process has failed to work yet again. It has failed time and time again–one instance worth mentioning is the way the election was stolen from Al Gore in year 2000, when George W. Bush was declared the winner by FOX News. How difficult would things have turned out if the people had risen up and ensured a Gore presidency? Such wonderings might not hold much power, but I for one have had enough of the voice of the people being silenced again and again, referendum’ed on and dispatched and manipulated and poisoned. Of course all those people in the newspapers and on TV decry Sanders and his supporters for being loud and passionate. The violent feelings and emotions are a very regrettable, slightly frightening side effect of the way that our country is fucking over the people. Plain and simple. And of course this is scaring the people in power, especially when the person the people want to lead them is refusing to play their game–he sees how close the people are to succeeding and he would rather have the establishment know how very pissed off the people are, rather than placating the situation. Bernie Sanders is not a coward. He is not looking to get elected–he is not looking for popularity and a sound bite and being a person within the system. He is a person seeking real change. He is a political revolutionary AND THAT IS WHY THE ESTABLISHMENT IS WORKING SO HARD TO BRING HIM DOWN. People on the Internet talking is merely a reflection of what people have been talking about in their living rooms regarding politics for ages. Now it’s simply being brought out into the open. Are candidates supposed to apologize and be accountable for what their supporters are thinking and saying in the privacy of their own homes? I feel like people may begin to draw comparisons between Donald Trump’s supporters and Bernie Sanders’–while on the surface it may be an apt comparison, I say that the differences, and they are key, between the two groups, is that first of all, the rage from the Trump camp is being directed to groups of people that are minorities and marginalized–Mexicans and Muslims; the rage of the Sanders supporters is being directed at the instruments of power keeping the establishment and the status quo the way they are. Roberta Lange being singled out was because she did the dirty work of the Party–though this is not excusable, if it had been a white male in her position, rage still would have been directed at the agent of the disenfranchisement. Second, Donald Trump has made statements plainly stating that he wouldn’t be surprise if riots happened if he wasn’t elected. Bernie Sanders has always advocated peace and the voice of the people–what the media has portrayed as Bernie Sanders being an apologist to his supporters making death threats was to explain the situation–he condemned them as a politician should, but also went the extra mile to explain the plain fact–that if tampering hadn’t occurred at the convention, this situation wouldn’t have happend. The oppressors do not have the luxury of outrage against those they’re oppressing. Plain and simple.

I sincerely hope that Bernie Sanders wins the election. I love this country and I believe that the only way to make it the way it never was before is to elect Bernie Sanders. We had a chance at greatness a few times. I hope we get another one soon.

Thanks for reading,

-ry

Royal Dutch Shell Pipeline Spills 90,000 Gallons of Oil into Gulf of Mexico

Less than 24 hours ago, a 2,100 barrel oil spill into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico forced Royal Dutch Shell to shut in all wells that flow to its Brutus platform. The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement say that a 2 x 13 mile sheen of oil was visible about 97 miles off the Louisiana Coast. NEARLY 90,000 GALLONS OF CRUDE OIL WAS SPILLED INTO THE OCEAN.

The cause of this oil spill is not yet known, according to officials. It is still under investigation and according to Shell, the company has mobilized response vessels to see if the oil could be recovered. Additionally Shell says that no injuries were sustained in the spill.

I’m sure we all know where this post is going. How many times are things like this going to happen? Fossil Fuels are on the way out–thanks to the COP21 Conference and Paris Agreement, the world is now in the process of doing away with fossil fuel energy. The problem is that this is not going fast enough. Things like this have happened too many times for it to be expected to stop. 6 years ago the BP Oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, making it the worst disaster of its kind in US history. This past October, the U.S. Government gave BP A 15 BILLION DOLLAR TAX WRITE OFF AS A RESULT OF ITS 20 BILLION DOLLAR GULF SPILL SETTLEMENT. BP Oil should be out of business. And yet, it’s not. The oil companies in America and other corporations are given tax writeoffs and loopholes to keep huge, significant amounts of their money while the American pubic foots the bill. BP wrote off the cost of its 32 Billion dollar cleanup, costing the American public 10 billion dollars–that is money from the public that could have been put directly toward free public education, free health care, or–a  novel idea, putting together a sustainable, renewable energy system. We need to shut down the oil companies, we need to stop giving so much power to corporations before it’s too late. Will Shell have to pay for this latest disaster? Or is nearly 100,000 gallons of oil spilled not enough to throw a fit over, compared to the BP Spill of 2010?

I’m sick and tired of seeing our planet destroyed. Shell says there were no injuries sustained in the spill–but what about the fish, what about the whales, what about all the life that depends on the ecosystem of the ocean to survive? There is still a layer of oil on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico from the BP Oil spill. What kind of effect will that have on our environment in the years to come?

BP has been funding Tea Party members who deny climate change. Oil Companies were suspiciously absent from a group of companies who were donating hundreds of billions of dollars to fight global warming. Information has been published showing that the biggest American oil companies were possessing knowledge of global warming since the 1970s, all while fighting regulations and readying for the fight that would come.  They are an entrenched lobby that has to be pulled out by the root–the politicians that are being funded by the companies need to be taken out of office as soon as possible. This is an issue that is so pressing that it’s hard to overstate its importance. If you care about these kinds of things, please do things like vote for Bernie Sanders in the upcoming election, give money to different associations that fight the oil companies, like OilFree Wellington, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club, Humane Society, The Ocean Conservancy, Ocean Futures Society, Global Coral Reef Alliance, SeaWeb. All of these are great choices and even more can be found here: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2006/03/guide-environmental-non-profits

The fight doesn’t stop, please help.

-ry

Bernie Sanders Draws 20K Plus in Sacramento, Media Is Silent

In contradiction to the mainstream media’s assertion that Bernie Sanders’ candidacy is all but over, over 20,000 people flocked to a rally on Monday May 9, to support Bernie Sanders and see him speak at Bonney Field in Sacramento, California.

Supporters waited in line for four hours yesterday to see the Seanator from Vermont speak–some even longer than that. Though the mainstream media was completely silent about the Sacramento rally (all except for the local Sacramento news station), various alternative news sources including Our Voice Media and usuncut.com were there to document and report on what was going on. In addition to the alternative news sources, countless tweets and posts on social media were made to document and inform the rest of the world about what was taking place while the mainstream media sat silent and elected not to report on the movement. Pictures, videos, and various hashtags were used by the public to report on the happenings in Sacramento. While an estimated 20,000 people got into the stadium to see Sanders speak, an estimated additional 10,000 did not end up getting into the venue, as it had reached capacity–bringing the total attendance of the Bernie rally to a grand 30,000 people.

In recent weeks, ever since the New York primary debacle, California has become the state where Bernie’s last stand in the primaries seems to be focused. The state with the most delegates to offer, and the one state that could offer Bernie the chance to turn it all around, California will be seeing major focus from both Democratic candidates. Bernie’s initial showing in Sacramento has definitely given Hillary Clinton something to be worried about. While the media blacks Sanders out, his supporters seem to be only increasing in excitement and solidarity–pictures from the Bernie rally have upended the stereotypical white, male Bernie supporter, the”Bernie Bro” that the media has recently made much of and instead given a picture of a very unified and diverse crowd, with supporters of all different ethnicities coming out to lend their voices in supporting their candidate.

Bernie seems to be the candidate trying to bring us all together. Though political rhetoric may cause rifts and harsh words and judgment, Bernie is the candidate telling us all that we can work together to effect real, sweeping change. His platform of Us Not Me is indicative of that attitude. Hillary Clinton should be worried, and so should the political establishment of the United States. Those entrenched interests are now in trouble and will soon be on their way out, because regardless of a win or a loss in the Bernie camp, the Bern has had its effect, and the people are waking up to the fact that they have the power and that change is not far around the corner.

Maine Democratic Party Abolishes Superdelegates

The first precedent has been set on the road to eliminating Superdelegates, one of the many pieces of the poisonous election system in the United States. The Maine Democratic Party has just overwhemingly passed an amendment at the statewide contention eliminating the autonomous influence of superdelegates.

Representative Diane Russell said that the amendment was adopted by a single voice vote (meaning an “aye” or “nay” vocal vote by the people in response to an amendment) followed by chants of “Ber-nie! Ber-nie!” Ber-nie!” Russell said she never expected that kind of a reaction.

The adoption of the amendment means that Maine’s superdelegate votes will now be allocated proportionally according to the overall popular vote, rather than each superdelegate having complete autonomy. Which is to say that the superdelegates no longer get to choose or be influenced by any factor other than the amount of votes–i.e. no more of the people’s voice being disregarded.

The incredible thing is that this amendment does not stop at the state level. Now that the amendment has been adopted in Maine, the Main Democratic Party will petition the Democratic National Committee members to get rid of the superdelegate system altogether AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL. Unfortunately, the amendment is nonbinding for the 2016 election, but will take effect in 2020 and every year after. There was much debate about making it effective for the 2016 election, but Russell had written the amendment with 2020 in mind. It is, however, her ultimate goal to do away with the delegate system entirely and decide the election by popular vote.

This is such an amazing development that I’m not sure how to overstate it. The delegate and superdelegate system was created to keep power with the politicians, as a final trump card against the will of the people. Bernie Sanders is primarily responsible for changing the conversation of politics in the United States. He is the face of the thing, but we, the public and the people are the driving force behind it, the voice that raises the volume and focuses the attention on the real issues. It does not stop with Bernie Sanders, regardless of a win or a loss–we are the future, especially young voters. We will never accept being talked down to or told to respect our elders. Our elders put us where we are, and now the oldest current candidate is showing us the way, and that the revolution starts with ALL of us–Bernie Sanders saw the beginning of the system we live in and has fought his whole life against it. We need to do the same. It might be hard and it might be stressful, and take up a lot of time and energy, but what we’re deciding right now is the future. We need to look forward, not to our children, or to our children’s children to make the right decisions, but to the next seven generations.

Make the movement move.

-ry

Independents Will Win This Election

Donald Trump is the nominee for the Republican Party. That is all but decided at this point. So now what is to be done with this information? The simple answer to this is that we nominate Bernie Sanders as the Democratic presidential candidate.

In all the polls having to do with a general election, we see that Hillary Clinton wins against a Donald Trump candidacy by a margin of about 4 points. On the other hand, a Bernie Sanders candidacy wins against a Trump candidacy, by about 7 points. However, many opinions are that Trump will end up winning against Clinton. Why is this? One reason I would give for this is because the primaries have given us a distorted view of the political playing field. And this is basically because in CLOSED primaries, where independents are not allowed to vote, Hillary Clinton wins those primaries and has won them. On the other hand, in OPEN primaries, when independents are allowed to vote, Bernie Sanders wins and has won. This fact is essential to understanding how a BERNIE SANDERS CANDIDACY WILL BEAT DONALD TRUMP. The vast majority of the voting public this time around is Independent. Each time a CLOSED PRIMARY happens, the voice of the middle ground, the Independent is silenced. The vast majority of the voting public is tired of the 2 party system and is tired of the status quo. In a general election, the Independents will have their voice heard–and by this point, there are far too many voters who have seen through the facade of Hillary Clinton to assume that she will carry the vote in the general election. If the DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE does not nominate Bernie Sanders, the Independents will not turn out. They will see this as another instance where the status quo has triumphed and the last chance for real, working Democracy this season will be silenced and will lose. In a general election where it’s BERNIE SANDERS VS DONALD TRUMP, the Democratic establishment, as well as the Independents of America, will be behind Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders has been an Independent all his life, and a champion of civil rights and is aware of the risks of allowing our political establishment to continue business as usual. Additionally, as much as Sanders has gone after Clinton so far, I feel like Trump would have a field day with the accusations of treason leveled against Clinton, in addition to the amount of Super PAC money she takes and how much of an establishment candidate she is–Trump is self financed and will make a big noise on that topic. I honestly feel that the only chance to avoid a total disaster this voting season is to nominate Bernie Sanders.

Recently, it has also come to light that Hillary Clinton has also been courting the supporters of Jeb Bush and Jeb Bush himself for more money to fund her campaign. In what world does this make sense? Hillary Clinton is already a barely left leaning Democrat–she has been pushed into changing her campaign rhetoric by the incredibly popular Sanders campaign, basically becoming a candidate who parrots Sanders’ progressive policies, but with no guarantee that she will follow through on these things once she’s in office. 15 dollar minimum wage, breaking up the big banks, and other campaign talking points were adopted by Clinton after Sanders had the idea. But now Clinton is actually courting Neo Conservative supporters in the hopes of gaining more monetary momentum in order to beat Sanders. Are we stupid? Does Clinton think that we are a group of dupes who don’t see the strings that are being tied by the minute to Clinton’s person that will serve to hamstring her and make her beholden to the powers that gave her the money to run her campaign? We can’t trust a thing Clinton says because she is not funded by the people–Sanders is funded by the people and thus given authority to act in the peoples’ interests. Which consequentially means that Clinton’s money is corporate, which means that she (if elected) will be given the authority to act in the interest of those parties, not the people themselves, thus continuing the bullshit political climate we’ve been saddled with for DECADES.

Please, if you have the means, donate to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Talk to your friends about Bernie Sanders. Be the downer who has the conscience and good sense to address the issues that affect all of us, whether or not people would like to believe it. Post about Bernie Sanders on your Facebook…go to family reunions, class reunions, talk to your pizza delivery man for God’s sake. Now that we know that Trump is who the Republicans will have representing them, it’s even more important to READ THE WRITING ON THE WALL. It’s there, whether we want to read it or not. Facts do not cease to be facts if you decide to ignore them.

Be an independent. The voice of the people matters.

-ry