The Video That Stopped Me Dead, No, Startled Me Alive in My Tracks

“The truth shall UPSET you free.”  — Swami Beyondananda

Every now and then something so graphic appears, that keys into an issue so profoundly that no further explanation is needed. Please watch this video now. It’s about six and a half minutes long, and it will shock, and hopefully stir you to a new awareness and action.

Watch the video NOW before reading any further.

OK, good.

Now you probably already thought that wealth distribution is unfairly skewed in this country. What this video graphic shows in such stark detail is HOW MUCH it is skewed, and how this imbalance is far, far greater than we think. It might explain another recent article that reported that 56% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their bank accounts, and nearly 25% have less than $100.

I’ll get right to the point.

There is ONE THING happening right now that will make a difference — that IS making a difference — and that is the Bernie Sanders campaign for President. Ah, I can hear that sigh from you long-suffering progressives. You’ve seen how over the past 35 years, the Democratic Party has become the “other corporate party”, the place where progressive votes go to die.

This year is different. Very different. Young voters have awakened, and the under-30 crowd in Iowa went for Bernie over Hillary 84% to 13%. So … you might say, so what? Anyone who has lifted the veils to any extent knows how entrenched this system is, and how little influence electoral politics seems to have.

My answer is, yes I know. I have been studying political science since the 1960s, and I have no illusions about the darkness that has prevailed until now. That’s why I see the Sanders campaign as a crack in the system that will let the light in — potentially so much light, that we the people (like the 92% of us surveyed in the video) will recognize and assume our own power.

The one thing that is different about the Bernie campaign — different even from activist Ralph Nader’s third party run sixteen years ago — is that there is a movement building underneath, behind and even in front of Bernie. It is a growing movement, and regardless of the outcome in the primaries or in November, it will continue to grow. Electing Bernie will give voice to this movement, and this movement will give Bernie the “ground support” he will need if elected.

Bernie is no savior, and many of his other policies are old paradigm.

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

But his election will signal a shift toward a new world view, led by the Millennials who actually will be living in this world for the next half century or more. It is the one thing we have in front of us now than can and very likely WILL move the dial — first on economic inequality, next on climate change, and ultimately in moving from a system based on fear and “survival of the fittest” to one based on love, connection and “thrival of the fittingest.

No, Bernie cannot do all of that for us. However, he can facilitate the field where we can more easily do that for ourselves, and — incidentally — in time to save our species form extinction.

And because of that, I have taken on a mission for the next three months and I ask you to support me if you are willing and able. Given the hugely positive response I have gotten to my recent blogs about Bernie, it sparked a new mission for certainly primary season, and if we are fortunate, for the next nine months.

I am launching a weekly Bernie Blog (with updates more frequently) that will do the following for the campaign, for the body politic, and for the future we all know is possible:

  1. Glean and proliferate the most pertinent material in support of the Sanders campaign, and weave it into a larger context.
  1. Specifically seek to reach the boomers and older folks who have been playing it safe in supporting Hillary, and show them how Bernie can and will do much, much better than she will in the general election.
  1. Gather ideas and energy to build a movement around and through this campaign, a movement that gives Bernie the ground cover to address and courageously face the seemingly intractable corporate state.
  1. Create and empower that movement independent of the Sanders campaign.
  1. Use the three blogging platforms I have now, the Huffington Post, Daily Kos and OpEd News — along with my own growing list that includes other cultural creatives and transpartisans — to spread the word throughout communities that may have been politically dormant until now.
  1. Do it with wit and humor, in a way that will be picked up and virally shared.

Yes, there is a “people’s upwising” afoot where more and more people every day recognize that the one thing that just might save our species during these times of crisis is awakening to our connection with one another and the web of life, and acting on that connection. There are many, many, many projects and ideas that have been moving this upwising forward. In his book Blessed Unrest, Paul Hawken cites literally hundreds of thousands of well-intentioned nonprofits working to address one aspect of the “problem”. As “single-cell organisms” they can thrive in a limited way, but ultimately are in competition with one another for funding.

What is required is a movement.

That movement currently has no name, and needs no name. At this very moment it is working through the Bernie Sanders campaign. If you agree, please support him and / or contribute to his campaign here.

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

If you like my approach and posts, please share them widely and encourage others to do the same. And if you agree that these posts can “loverage” support for Bernie, and you would like to help me help Bernie help us all, you can make a financial contribution in any amount through my PayPal account (I am not being paid by the Sanders campaign or any other organization … just by individuals like yourselves who see the value of this work and want it to move forward.)

Click here to donate via PayPal Donate Button

Again, I thank you for reading this and supporting this endeavor if it feels right to you.

The upwising has begun!

Steve Bhaerman


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March Forth With Bernie: Top Ten Reasons to Support Bernie Sanders

Political Climate Change is in the Air, Time to Turn on the Bern

“It’s called the Greenspan Effect. Thanks to those gangster-banksters, the average American doesn’t have the ‘green’ to span the average month.” — Swami Beyondananda

A few days ago, I saw a jaw-dropping, eye-popping statistic. I had to re-read it several times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, so here goes. 56% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their checking and savings accounts combined. Nearly 25% of Americans have less than $100 in their accounts!

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

Translated, this means that more than half of Americans are living in financial fear, and a quarter of us in financial terror. And … because we live in the USA and are exposed to not just Fox, but the rest of main-scream corporate media, we have had it drummed into our heads that … if we aren’t making it financially, it is our own damn fault.

Too bad about those folks who can’t survive on minimum wage, or recently-graduated students who will have to work until they’re a hundred to pay off their student debts, or those old folks who lost their pensions in the crash and now have to work at Walmart. Survival of the fittest, you know. That’s been the Republican refrain since the Reagan years. It’s the same selfish-righteous illogical logic that Michigan’s Governor Snyder used to make sure Flint’s poorest residents were unfit to survive.

Of course, it’s not just Republicans. Mainstream Democrats have earned the right to use the slogan: “Democrats — the Other Pork Party”, as Hillary takes PAC money from key Goldman-Sachs operatives.


No wonder our commonwealth is being sacked by the Gold men!

Fortunately, there is an upwising afoot that may well bring the political climate change that got lost in a hopium haze eight years ago.

The one candidate willing to confront the elephant (and donkey) in the living room — pay-to-play politics where the unchecked, unbalanced, unmitigated power of money rules — Bernie Sanders, is “berning” it up. For that reason — and despite him not being up to speed on issues like mandatory vaccination and GMO proliferation — I am wholeheartedly supporting Bernie, and even doing a benefit for him in March (see details below).

No, I am definitely NOT smoking hopium … but I believe 2016 is a year when Bernie Sanders can and will win the Presidency. Here are ten reasons why we should help him, and help him NOW:

Top Ten Reasons to Support Bernie Sanders

  1. He is the ONLY candidate truly confronting corruption. By pointing out and taking on the overwhelming influence of big money in politics, Bernie has tapped a theme that transcends Democrat or Republican. He WILL stand up to the banks and the oligarchy. When he does, he paves the way for every other progressive cause to move forward, and some conservative ones as well — such as honesty and financial integrity.
  1. He is the candidate of change — not chump change. While progressives had to project progressive values onto Barack Obama, Bernie stands up for his own, thank you. A socialist? Yeah, and so what? Bernie embraces the label, as he stands for such “socialist” programs as Social Security and Single Payer Health Care, favored by 58% of Americans according to the most recent poll.  Or, as Swami put it, “If Obama REALLY were a socialist, he would have a 70% approval rating.”
  1. Sanders thumps Trump in the rump. While a recent poll indicates that Hillary might have a better shot at Trump,  this is based on the “likely voter” — but it will be Bernie, not Hillary who inspires and activates the “unlikely voters” like Millennials who are not inspired by an inside the box, inside the beltway candidate like Hillary. Head-to-head against Trump, the most recent poll has Bernie up 15 points, 56% to 39%.
  1. Despite being a “socialist”, Sanders will reach across the red blue divide. When Bernie Sanders became the “socialist” mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981, one of his first acts was to enroll the business community through his Community and Economic Development Office, to spark the local economy and offer a “hand up, not a hand out” program to help the working poor. Six years later, the otherwise conservative U.S. News and World Report named Bernie one of the Top 20 Mayors in the country.
  1. Bernie will shift the emphasis from identity issues to “identical” issues. For the past generation or so, the Democrats have used “identity” issues — the rights of women, minorities and other hyphenated Americans — in a similar way that the Republicans have used evangelicals to fan the flames of divisiveness and emphasize our differences. This mass “pandermonium” where each side panders to its base has kept us divided enough so that we don’t together confront the corruption at the core of our system. Bernie has shifted the focus to the identical issue the vast majority of us have in common — a healthy wealthy commonwealth — and this portends well for a new political alignment around our shared desire for honest, transparent governance.
  1. Bernie is the only candidate with the backbone to confront the party with way too much “front-bone”. Bernie’s opposition to wars of empire, and his insistence on accountability from the banking industry have been steady and unchanged. The same is true with his support for Single Payer Health Care, and repeal of Citizens United. Years ago, Swami characterized the difference between the two parties this way: “The Republicans have been playing hard ball, the Democrats have been playing hardly-have-balls.” The proactive Bernie campaign is a welcome change, and maybe the Democrats will re-take the hot “red” label, and the Republicans will be left with the blues.astrologicalsignaquarius
  1. Bernie is the “real” feminist candidate. Huh? Astrologers tell us we are entering the Aquarian Age, and while one might imagine that Aquarius (like aquarium) is a feminine water sign, it is actually a masculine air sign. If you look at the symbol for Aquarius, you see the Water Bearer — a male figure pouring water, i.e., feminine wisdom. The new paradigm isn’t one gender dominating the other, it’s both genders (heck, ALL genders) working on the same a-genda, thrival for all. Bernie is the closest we have to an Aquarian candidate, a man courageously standing for the feminine values of nurturance and care for Creation.
  1. Bernie is REAL, period. The appeal of Donald Trump — and Ben Carson, before the full depth of his shallowness was revealed — is that of a “real” person, un-swayed by the opinions of others. As Trump’s bluster gets further exposed for the bullyshit that it is, and as Hillary finds herself unable to untangle from her own twisted words, Bernie will become the people’s choice, and not just the Democrat people. This is an equal-opportunity upwising and libertarian conservatives are awakening as well. Look for at least 10% to 20% of Evangelicals who recognize a true Christian when they see one, even if he is Jewish, to abandon the Republicans this time around if Bernie is the candidate. You don’t believe it? Mock my words.
  1. This campaign isn’t about Bernie. While Hillary’s campaign is about “me”, Bernie’s is about WE. One of the reasons he is getting so much grassroots support is because people recognize his campaign as a movement that goes further and deeper than his candidacy. While the insurgency Tea Party movement was very quickly co-opted by the Koch Brothers and kept alive through cash-flow infusion and Fox “News” impropaganda, the Bernie insurgency will grow and even grow past Bernie. It might even revitalize and reanimate the Democratic Party, so that we have a people’s counterbalance to the other, Undemocratic Party.

And the # 1 reason to support Bernie …

  1. Because Bernie winning has been deemed “impossible”. That’s what conventional wisdom has been telling us all along, and the Hillary trolls on progressive blogs are still insisting. And yes, such an insurgency winning would have been impossible before now. However 2016, a leap year, may actually be a “quantum leap year” where the level of disgust with our corrupt system awakens enough Americans to say ENOUGH. Corbyn won in the U.K., Trudeau in Canada. There is an awakening world wide, and we even have a Pope riding this wave. Trump, and the entire heartless, selfish-righteous culture he and the Republicans represent are obsolete and obsolethal. And sadly, so is Hillary, representing the “other pork party”.

The sheer “impossibility” of this victory will energize the body politic like nothing before. And unlike 2008, we will have a candidate who, once elected, will stand up to the bullies, and enroll we the people to have his back.

That’s when the real fun will begin.

But first … let’s put Bernie over the top. Go here to donate and / or volunteer, and please join us in Santa Cruz if you can on March 4th as we March Forth For Bernie. Our children, grandchildren and their children thank you in advance.


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For Whom the Trump Blows

“Behind every soulless heel is an unhealed soul.” — Swami Beyondananda

Even in the darkest of times, it’s always amazing to me how the Universe’s Sense of Humor emerges to illuminate just about any “shituation”. Here is a case in point.

Toward the end of September, there was a lot of buzz going around regarding the “blood moon tetrad” as an indicator of the “end times”. Out of curiosity, I tracked one of the links to the Book of Revelations, and there I found a quote that stopped me in my “tracts”:

Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality”       (I Cor. 15:51-53).

Trump1Never mind that this is from a website called Rapture Ready. There are many, many other sites that offer variants of this quote, indicating that a sign of End Times is “the last trump shall blow”.

Now many reading this might be saying, “Okay … we all know Donald Trump blows, and the blowhard is blowing even harder. So what?” And what about this “incorruption” the Bible is talking about? It’s good to know the dead are incorruptible … it’s those very live Congress members we’re concerned about.

As for the “End Times”, I prefer “apocalypse” — which means, “the lifting of the veils.” As unworkable structures fall away, and as the “yarn” keeping them in place unravels we have the opportunity to learn and transform. How well we do this in the coming months will determine whether the Trump will be blowing “Taps” for our experiment in self-governance, or “Reveille” for an awakening political spirit.

So, let’s part the Irony Curtain, and as unappetizing and frightening as it may seem, let’s have a look at our political system “naked”.

Ready? Open your eyes, and close your nose — we’re going in.

The A-Hole That Crawled Out of the FOX-Hole

I am reminded of a poignant moment that to me represented the end of the Republican Party as an organization with any integrity whatsoever, that had the likes of Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and even Barry Goldwater flipping in their crypts. It was during the concession speech John McCain delivered in 2008. There were McCain’s old school Arizonian supporters looking down their patrician noses at Sarah Palin, ever ready to steal the scene. They knew they were looking at the “future” of the Republican Party, given over to the smallest of minds and the most shrunken of hearts.

That Donald Trump has been the front-runner in the Republican presidential race is a completely “natural” and understandable result of the Republicans becoming the party of “selfish-righteousness” over the past 35 years, somehow weaving a contradictory narrative that incorporates Creationism and Social Darwinism. And to facilitate cultivating both meanness and ignorance, they’ve had Fox News (and let us remember that in numerology, F-O-X is 6-6-6). They have “succeeded” beyond their wildest nightmare in activating their “base” by activating the basest of values: Fear, ignorance, prejudice, and rigid adherence to obsolete and obsolethal principles.

So the bad news is, at most recent check 65% of those who call themselves Republicans, support Donald Trump’s “solution” to ban Muslims from entering America. (Hmmm … imagine if the Native Americans played their own Trump card 300 or 400 years ago.)

The good news is that 65% of Republicans represent about 35% of the entire electorate. Which means there is only one thing (other than the Republicans’ supernatural powers to get voting machines to flip votes) standing in the way of a resounding defeat for Trumpism in 2016 — the Democrats.

The Democrats — A Wolfowitz in Sheepowitz’s Clothing

Now let’s be clear. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats haven’t sold their soul to the devil. They’re too equivocal for that. They merely “rented” their soul. The presumed front-runner, Hillary Clinton, carries the baggage of being a neocon fellow (I mean gal) traveler, a Wolfowitz in Sheepowitz’s clothing. And while they stand in contrast to the Republicans on cultural and social issues, the Democratic Party “leadership” is still in the pocket of the banksters, big agriculture, the drug companies and the military industrial complex.

As purported defenders of the middle and working classes, as designated mitigators of the excesses of capitalism, the Democrats have fallen, and seem unlikely to get up. With the very notable exception of Bernie Sanders, the Democrats’ brand since the Bill Clinton era has been, “We’re not as bad as those other guys.”

And while the Millennials came out for Obama and his message of hope and change, they are not as willing as older folks to once again settle for the lesser evil. They are waiting for the greater good, and will stay home unless one appears. (Of course, Trump may impose such a clear and present danger that enough people will say enough to the Republican Party and finally drive a stake through their heartlessness.)

So aside from the prospect of Donald Trump single-handedly destroying the Republican Party, where IS the hope?

From Identity Issues to Identical Issues

If the Republicans have devolved into the party of selfish-righteousness the Democrats have become the party of selfless helplessness — apparently well meaning but inept at courageously standing up for any principles (or perhaps even having any principles at all). The Democrats’ idea of “taking a stand” is refusing to call Islamic extremists Islamic extremists. (I have long believed that political correctness dating back to the late 1970s and early 1980s is how “the right got right and the left got left.” But that’s another blog post.) Their political strategy has been to focus on cultural issues and “identity issues” and ignore the big fat elephant (and donkey) in the living room — the American empire, the corporate state, and pay-to-play government.

The great potential of the Bernie Sanders campaign is to shift the focus from identity issues to identical issues — issues like climate change, clean air, water and food, and economic “thrival” that impact each and all of us, regardless of gender, skin color, religion and the political tribe we identify with. That’s why I am hearing from Tea Party Republicans who will vote for Bernie, as they recognize that none of the available Republican candidates are free enough from the power of money to truly be populists. They know the Republican establishment will never enact the kind of tax reform that will prevent the wealthiest from dodging taxes (see this article in the New York Times this week).

So … next time we hear the Trump blaring forth simplistic misunderstanding, willful ignorance, and demagoguery (pointing fingers at “dem, dem, dem” and never “us”) let’s take it as the clarion call to gather the 65% or 75% or 80% of us who want government of, by and for the people where the government does OUR bidding and not the bidding of the highest bidder. And next time we hear “oh, Bernie can’t win”, let’s remind ourselves that really Bernie can’t lose, because a sleeping giant — aka “We the People” — has been awakened.

And as Swami tells us, either we will have an awakening — or we will have a wake.

So, may the Trump blow “Taps” for the rule of gold, and “Reveille” for the Golden Rule, and may 2016 be not just a leap year but a Quantum Leap Year.

(Coming in next post: One Republican I WOULD Vote For)

Steve Bhaerman is the slightly more serious alter ego of cosmic comic Swami Beyondananda, and is the co-author with cellular biologist Bruce Lipton of the highly acclaimed book, Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and A Way to Get There From Here. Steve has been writing the Notes From the Trail blog since 2006, and can be found online at

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