How “Pravda” Reported Bernie’s Win in Michigan

“Mainstream media is a brainwashing machine stuck on spin.”

— Swami Beyondananda

Those of you who are old enough probably remember that the “official” Soviet press was called Pravda, which in Russian means “truth”. We Americans always had a good chuckle out of that obviously Orwellian term. Of course what we didn’t know was that inside the Soviet Union, one of their jokes was:

  1. What’s the difference between Pravda and the American press?
  2. The Soviet citizens know they are being lied to.

Ha-ha.bernie-sanders-portrait-03

Fortunately, there is an upwising afoot and more and more Americans recognize the sad truth that our press is more interested in crowd control than truth. And the crowd is getting harder to control. Consider that the energy this election cycle is around the two candidates that have NOT been handpicked by the power structure, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Yes, Trump — or as I prefer to call him T-Rump — is to me the last gasp of the dominate-or-be-dominated paradigm. He is the past. He is the invitation to “look back” and be turned into a pillar of assault. He is scary to the Republicans not only because he could destroy that entire party, not just because they recognize him as a fascist menace, but also as a wild card he could say anything, and that “anything” might be disruptive to the carefully-manufactured consent that passes for “democracy” in our sadly isolated country.

Bernie — as I have been saying all along — is the future. His worldview is about relatedness, not separation, about authenticity and congruence. Hillary — like Bill — is the “Clintessential” politics as usual. The power structure — the military industrial complex, the neoliberal neocons, agribusiness, etc., etc. — loves Hillary. Bernie? He can bern as far as they’re concerned.

Maybe that’s why the Washington Post ran 16 anti-Bernie articles in 16 hours, kind of like Pravda might have.

So from here on in, I will refer to the mainstream American press as “Pravda”.

To clarify, I am not being cynical here. Quite the opposite. In order to hold the space of “upwising”, to moving forward in awareness, functionality and a world of thrival for all, we must open ourselves to the truth, even the unpleasant parts. I was amazed — but not surprised — a few months ago when a well-meaning progressive said to me, “Well, if 911 were an inside job I would have heard about it on NPR.”

If we turn our noses up at the “ignoranuses” voting for T-Rump, then surely we should hold ourselves to a higher standard as well — in recognizing some of the inconvenient truths about the mainstream press. For this self-education, I recommend two sources that both get high “marks” in my book. First, the courageous journalist Mark Crispin Miller (http://markcrispinmiller.com/) who stood alone in reporting the stolen election in 2004 in his book Fooled Again.

The other Mark is Mark Robinowitz, whose website Peak Choice (http://www.peakchoice.org/) offers some key new distinctions in how to discern the difference between good information, disinformation, misinformation and missing information. Check out his website, and you’ll understand how partial truths are allowed to “hang out there” while the deepest truths are hidden.

Again, this not about cynicism. It’s about awakening!

And finally, how DID Pravda spin Bernie’s victory in Michigan?

Here is the New York Times lead line after announcing Sanders’ victory: “Mr. Sanders’s upset in Michigan threatened to prolong the Democratic campaign.”

Imagine that. The extent of the Sanders “threat” is to prolong the campaign.

The only thing they can extract from that victory to feed the intelligentsia who read the Times is that his victory is a temporary, minor inconvenience on the way to Hillary’s “let them eat cake-walk” to the nomination. Why don’t they just confess that voters themselves are minor inconveniences, a necessary evil in a “democracy”?

Bernie’s victory in Michigan is perhaps his most important one yet. It’s a shift of momentum and it’s about a key blue state. With the unions and the well-established Democratic Party infrastructure, they could have gone for Hillary. A short while ago, Hillary was ahead by 25 points.

And while there may have been some Harry Reid hanky-panky in Nevada, and some truly disturbing interference in Massachusetts (See this and this) it is going to take more than lying and cheating to stop the Sanders express.

Get ready for a wild ride.

_______________________

Support Bernie’s campaign here: https://go.berniesanders.com/page/content/splash

And … go ahead. PATRONIZE ME!

If you feel so moved, you can make a contribution now via PayPal to help financially support Notes From the Trail. And in any case, I love getting your feedback … and feel free to share this post widely.

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Where To Invade Next, OR … How Did the USA Get So %#!&@ STUPID?

Swami’s Dictionary:

Ignoranus: Massive ignorance meets massive arrogance; the kind of thinking behind Mad Cowboy Disease. See “assaholism”.

Last week, Trudy and I went to see Michael Moore’s latest, Where To Invade Next, and we were heartened by the positive — yes, positive — message. Iconoclastic Moore traveled the world looking for ideas to “capture” on behalf of the USA, and the result was a glimpse into the relative “sanity” of the rest of the world, compared to the USA.WheretoInvadeNextPosterSML

There was Italy, where ordinary working people enjoy at least six weeks paid vacation, and France, where school lunches consist of REAL food, Slovenia where higher education is free, and Norway where maximum security prisoners are greeted with a video where the guards and other prison employees sing, “We Are The World.” Seriously. Not tongue in cheek.

Then there is Iceland, where banksters were put “on ice” and got to serve prison terms for their perpetrations. And lots, lots more.

Moore does a good job relating disenfranchisement of black males via prison to the southern states remaining largely Republican. (In most European nations, prisoners still have the right to vote and candidates actually campaign in prisons!)

In every one of these cases where our common wealth could have been spent to enhance the wellbeing of the commonwealth, in the USA that money has been scarfed up the military industrial complex, the medical industrial complex, drug companies, agribusiness, the petrochemical industry, and of course corruption and speculation.

The movie begs the question, how did the American people get so %#&&@ STUPID?

One clue emerges during Michael Moore’s visit to Germany, where children get an unflinching look at the Holocaust. Some 70 years ago at Nuremberg, the world’s eyes were opened to the Nazi’s perpetrations. Instead of shrinking from this horrific moment in their history, the Germans have “owned it.” They have nothing to hide. They have scanned and scoured their history, and they are spiritually richer for it. No skeletons in the closet. No closet.

Here in the USA, we have of course acknowledged slavery … and the genocide of Native peoples not so much. Conversation has devolved into the toxic substitute for truthful discourse, “political correctness” and arguments continue about whether it’s proper to call the Washington football team the Redskins or our baseball teams the Indians and the Braves.

I’m sure on reservations or casinos, the day it is announced that the Atlanta baseball team has reverted to its pre-major league nickname, the Crackers, a huge audible cheer will go up — not.

Nobody — except a few political poseurs and their well-meaning white liberal allies — will care. The life of Native peoples will pretty much go on as before. Just as the lives of black folks matter about as much as they did BEFORE Obama became president.

But that’s not even the biggest reason for the America public’s willful ignorance.

I would chalk it up to PTSD.

Ever since the United States entered Orwell Country when it renamed the Department of War the Department of Defense, ever since the moment where our leaders imagined we could use the Nazis’ scientists and technologists without being tainted by their heart of darkness, the stage was set for our experiment in self-governance to become consumed by its own shadow. Several years ago, the dark joke came to me that with the Civil Rights era, the KKK morphed into the KKK-KKK … Kill Kennedy, King, Kennedy and the Kent Kids.

If you’re one of those “coincidence theorists” who cling to the self-serving myth that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, I double-dog dare you to read James Douglass’s book, JFK And the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.

Interestingly and appropriately, the picture of the year at the Academy Awards last night was Spotlight, a film about exposing pedophile priests in Boston. Using their clerical garb — and the mighty sword of their religious dogma — these individuals intimidated and traumatized young people, leaving them to believe they were somehow responsible for bringing on their own abuse.

Same with the American people.

We have been abused by the American empire since the beginning of the Cold War. We now know that Stalinism killed more civilians than Hitler did, and the worker’s paradise was a living hell. True enough, and … much of postwar American foreign policy was really about thwarting economic justice across the globe, making the world safe for United Fruit and US Rubber. Disguised as anti-communism, it was really anti-populism, anti-economic justice, and anti-human. Imagine if we HAD been on the right side of those issues … communism could never have gotten a popular foothold.

With the JFK assassination, America’s body politic was so traumatized that half a century later, we are still unable to discern truth from lies. We “bought” the 9/11 story, the anthrax scare, the “Patriot” act, the invasion of Iraq, etc., etc., etc.

Today, one third of our electorate is poised (or is it “poisoned”?) to elect Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the mainstream Democrats rather than standing up for the working people and middle class seem reminiscent of the timid tourist asking a New Yorker, “Excuse me … could you tell me how to get to Times Square — or should I just go f— myself?”

As Trudy and I walked out of the movie theater, it became clear that for the United States to reclaim its political and spiritual heritage there would have to be a “peoples upwising” — where we collectively awaken to what has been done in our names, and wise up and rise up to a higher view that we humans are indeed all it in together.

Perhaps it will take something like what South Africa did, a “truth and reconciliation” movement … where truth, justice and forgiveness replace the desire for punishment and an “eye for an eye”. Keep in mind that at the root of every religious, spiritual and ethical path is some version of the Golden Rule. Now science too is telling us, cooperate and survive.

No law, no policy, no elected official will be able to change things one iota in this country until and unless this shadow is faced, and healed. With nothing left to hide and protect — either in our governance or in our psyche — we will actually be able to “go sane”.

Meanwhile … see the movie. See what we’ve been missing. Support Bernie because his candidacy represents a movement for awakening. Discover and embrace the truth, speak it from your heart, and watch the relief on people’s faces as they recognize their truth as well.

_______________________

Support Bernie’s campaign here: https://go.berniesanders.com/page/content/splash

March Forth 4 Bernie. Join Swami for a fund-raising event for Bernie Sanders on March 4th in Santa Cruz. Details below.

And … go ahead. PATRONIZE ME!

I’ve recently discovered a crowd-funding site called Patreon that allows fans to support worthy endeavors that are given away rather than sold (like blogs and podcasts). Prior to setting up on that site, I would love to get a sense of how my audience values my contribution. If you feel so moved, you can make a contribution now via PayPal, and if response warrants it, I will set up a Patreon page. And in any case, I love getting your feedback … and feel free to share this post widely.

Click here to donate via PayPal to support Notes From the Trail Donate Button

MarchForBernie

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In Her Own Words – Hillary Tells You Why You Should Vote for Bernie

“Together, we create our own WE-ality.” — Swami Beyondananda

After Bernie Sanders’ big win in New Hampshire last week and the debate that followed, I received two emails — one from the Bernie Sanders campaign, and the other from Hillary’s team. In comparing the two, I saw the stark contrast between who and what each candidate is about. First, here is the Bernie message:

Bernie just had the breakout moment at the Democratic debate tonight.

The moderator asked both the candidates about the influence big money donors — the kind of donors who dump millions into super PACs — have on politicians in the Democratic Party.

In response, Hillary Clinton claimed that the fact that many Democratic politicians took money from big banks — and voted in favor of bills like Dodd Frank — somehow proved they were not influenced by big money.

But Bernie wasn’t having it. Here’s what he said:

“Let’s not insult the intelligence of the American people. People aren’t dumb.

“Why in God’s name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess for the fun of it? They want to throw money around?

“Why does the pharmaceutical industry make huge campaign contributions? Any connection, maybe, to the fact that our people pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs?

“Why does the fossil fuel industry spend huge amounts of money on campaign contributions? Any connection to the fact that not one Republican candidate for president thinks and agrees with the scientific community that climate change is real and that we have got to transform our energy system?”

Bernie is exactly right. Billionaires, and the corporations they control, know exactly what they’re getting for their investment. That’s why it is so incredibly important for us to stand up, right now, and say — as Bernie would say — ENOUGH is ENOUGH.That was Bernie.

Now here is Hillary’s message:

— Ann (for some reason, I am “Ann” to Hillary’s campaign)

Tonight, I worked to show this team and our country what it looks like to get right back up and fight after you’ve been knocked down.

I hope I made you proud — and inspired you to dig a little deeper and do a little more. Will you chip in $1 right now to say you’re with me?

Join Swami in Santa Cruz on March 4th for a March Forth for Bernie event, details below

Join Swami in Santa Cruz on March 4th for a March Forth for Bernie event, details below

Can you see / feel the difference? In actuality, Hillary’s response to Bernie’s pressing question was condescending and avoided the real issue, the one that impacts every one of us who have been disenfranchised by a pay-to-play political system. And if you compare their post-debate, post-New Hampshire messages the one simple difference is that Bernie’s message is about WE. Hillary’s is about ME. (Not actually “me” as in “you and me”, but about HER.)

Hillary — in writing to this imaginary “Ann” she thinks I am — is about identity issues. As a woman, I might well relate to Hillary’s plight and pluck in being “knocked down” and then standing back up. This is basically what Hillary is offering. Besides the symbolism of being the first woman President, she offers the same thing the Democrats have been offering up since the Reagan years — vote for us, we’re not as bad as those other guys.

Bernie’s message is much more about where he stands on the one key issue that will determine whether we ever have government of the people, or whether we devolve past oligarchy to neo-feudalism. It moves past identity to the IDENTICAL issues Americans face, particularly as we deal with the economic impact of oligarchy and worse.

“Naturally” — unnaturally, actually — the mainstream press continues its drumbeat to diss Bernie, distort his message, and associate supporting Hillary (the lesser of the evils, but way more evil than Bernie) with “being realistic”.

Well, I suppose if we are OK with the current political reality, then being realistic is … realistic. However, if you are ready for a new WE-ality, where we the people actually have some real input into our political reality, you’ll join the awakening young people and jump aboard the Bernie campaign. Oh, and in regards to Bernie being paralyzed by a Republican Congress, Bernie will activate young voters and very likely sweep in a new Congress with him. Hillary will be unable to improve on Obama’s status quo. Which is fine for her, because like Obama, she has “pre-compromised” on all the key issues of governance, foreign policy and who actually rules America.

I’m just sayin’ …

Support Bernie’s campaign here: https://go.berniesanders.com/page/content/splash

March Forth 4 Bernie. Join Swami for a fund-raising event for Bernie Sanders on March 4th in Santa Cruz. Details below.

And … go ahead. PATRONIZE ME!

I’ve recently discovered a crowd-funding site called Patreon that allows fans to support worthy endeavors that are given away rather than sold (like blogs and podcasts). Prior to setting up on that site, I would love to get a sense of how my audience values my contribution. If you feel so moved, you can make a contribution now via PayPal, and if response warrants it, I will set up a Patreon page. And in any case, I love getting your feedback … and feel free to share this post widely.

Click here to donate via PayPal to support Notes From the Trail  Donate Button

 

MarchForBernie

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