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I’m Now with Her: Thank You Bernie for Moving Hillary to the Left

Thank you Senator Sanders for running for the behalf of the common man and woman. For daring to advocate Social-Democratic ideals and stronger safety nets in our rugged individualistic society.

Many skeptics wrote him off as a fringe candidate that was going to fade away quickly. Or said he was a grumpy, impractical, overly idealistic pie-in-the sky type guy. He claimed that the press that he received from the media was biased and rigged, which in light of recent news, he is quickly being vindicated for.

So much rancor has been made about him staying in the race after losing California by “double digits.” Saying that he was broken record, and that his continual presence in the race was not only greedy and bitter, but giving Trump ammunition to win the election.

Comments and articles in the past few weeks have been calling him to leave for the sake of defeating Trump. That it was incumbent upon Sanders to do what was good for the Democratic Party and step out of the race to support Hillary.

But the fact of the matter is, as Sanders once said, it was not about him, It was about us. Sanders knew for several months that he was mathethatically out of the race. He awaked over 12 million people and showed that Social-Democratic ideals in a right of center country like the United States had more support that anyone ever thought.  He brought hope to millions and revived the notion, that Government, if given firm boundaries, can be a force of good towards building infrastructure, providing jobs and public goods like universal healthcare and tuition and low cost college.

Even if he was reaching in fully advocating abolishing TPP at least he listened to blue collar workers and the needs of those which have been economically ignored by neoliberal, deregulation-happy discourse.  Voters that could be brought back into the fold after years of derision with the Democratic Party. Although Neoliberalism was the solution for the America of the 20th Century for America to stay on top of its game, we’re going to need to implement Social-Democratic economic reforms and provide basic rights like universal health care, tuition free higher education, paid leave for both parents, and infrastructure investment. Yes, even in as big of a country as the United States.

His continued pressure put strain on Hillary to push her further to the left on issues that are important to progressives as well as the kids of future. He kept her honest on regulating Wall Street, pushing harder on health care and tuition free college for certain incomes.  America can continue to keep itself on top by borrowing what has worked so well in other westernized nations and enhancing our free and hardworking society, while providing a healthy safety net.

For those of you Sanders supporters that wrote him off and are now rejoicing at his hard earned victories in the DNC platform towards health care, Higher Education and Wall Street and are now acting like you supported him the entire time, listen and listen good!

He pushed for all these improvements despite your derision and hostility. Despite your moaning and “regret” for having voting for him. The Democratic Platform has made some notable concessions to progressives and the middle class alike. The folks that didn’t trust the process and insulting Sanders for his bitterness and failure to fall in line make me ill. To add a sports reference to this, as Proud Boston Sports fan, you’re like the people who shut off the television or walked out the in Middle of the 2015 AFC Divisional round, when the Patriots were behind the Ravens, but came back in a stunning fashion to win the game and become the eventual Super Bowl champs and rejoiced after the Super Bowl like you had their back the entire time. If you couldn’t handle the process at its worse, you don’t deserve the fruits of that process even through you will now benefit anyway from the results.

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Why I supported Sanders’ Social-Democratic Ideals

Look, I am an unabashed Millennial. I was born in 89. I loved my PS1 videogames and wrestling games like any young boy did back in the 90’s. I was lucky to have grown up during the roaring 90’s during booming economy and culture of the 90’s.  I loved the children’s cartoons of the time that, come to think of it, had a lot of suggestive and adult material. (Rocko’s Modern Life, Anamaniacs, Spongebob just to name a few)

But more and more, I’m starting to lose my nostalgia for the roaring 90’s. The 90’s were known as a time of great economic growth, vivacious pop culture, one dollarish gas and an ideal period to enter the workforce for the adults at the time.  Obviously, at the time, I wasn’t clearly old enough to contribute the economy, but despite my young age, I was very optimistic that I would get to reap these spoils up until the time that I started college.

I firmly thought back then that if I worked hard enough in school and made myself sharp and well-rounded, that someday I would get to enjoy the American dream and inherit the robust economy and economic climate of the day when it came my time to participate in the professional workforce.

I strongly believe that the main reason why Sanders, as opposed to Hillary has struck a chord with my generation is many of us in my generation, figured out on a fundamental level that we weren’t going to enjoy the same economic abundance that the adults of our childhood decade got to enjoy. And many of us are ROYALLY pissed off about being grifted for Neoliberal, FUCK you, got Mine, devil may care about how it might affect my kids/grandkids generation type of economics.

I started college at the eve of the Economic Crash in 2008. One of the first major lectures I remember attending in my college seminar was a discussion about the bailing out the Auto Industry. I remember voicing my thoughts to the class in my Anthology seminar.

My views on this were the exact same as my views are now. I firmly believed that we should have unequivocally let the individual companies fail, but work to re-train the displaced employees in other jobs. After all, it wasn’t their fault that the Auto Industry decided to stagnate with reliability, gas mileage, and overall overindulgence investing and peddling uninspiring cars.

The crash taught me about the fragility of our current neoliberalism and how so many were blindsided to the excess of indulgence of Corporate Welfare. The wealth would trickle-down they said? Tell that to so many of the CEOs, Investors and Wealthy that funnel their money to off-shore accounts or international investments to reduce their tax liability. Or that outsource labor to developing nations without being appreciative of the people that made them their money to begin with.

One would think that that money would have went towards paying the employees that made their success possible. But nope, that went towards solely making them richer instead of compensating employees with the cost of inflation. But not so much. You the tax payer, Republican, Democrat, or anything in between is left paying for their salary and covering the difference.

In our ever digitally connected society, it very easy to learn and research about other nation’s ways of life. Many Millennials are quite privy to that fact that America is not the only advanced country on the planet. The globalization of the internet, for better or for worse has exposed us to people and ideas of all likes. I know for me, and some individuals my age, it was very appalling to figure out that other First-World nations are offering a better standard of living than the US.

My concern for my country is all because I deeply love it and couldn’t picture myself anywhere else. I love America and I AM proud to consider myself American. I love our freedoms, history, geography, our ethnic-diversity and the fact that each region has its own culture and temperament.

Providing Western Democratic like reforms our center-right minded nation would only magnify the good that we already have a country. We are a country of great physical, historical and social diversity. And wide open spaces. Despite my mounting student loan debt, the desire to own a home with a nice amount of land and animals is still something I think about earning every day.

America can continue to keep itself on top by borrowing what has worked so well in other westernized nations and enhancing our free and hardworking society, while providing a healthy safety net.  I know that we’ll continue pushing towards that direction with Secretary Clinton at the helm, but I really genuinely felt that Bernie would negotiate from a stronger position to accelerate these reforms.

Watching the country vote against this direction is like being disappointed in your Straight A son or daughter for only striving for B’s when YOU know they are capable of staying and continuing to be great. Exposure to the ways that other Western Countries do some things is something that I can’t unsee or unlearn. I simply cannot go back.

There’s no denying that that the Obama Administration has been historic and has brought about a lot of progressive change, despite a hostile Congress. Up until recently, Healthcare was tied to employment. You lost your job, so did you also lose your health insurance. I’m glad that Obama was able to make inroads in this front with Obamacare, and I truly hope we can move towards a single player option, alongside the private options that we already have.

At the end of the day, I unequivocally rather have Hillary Clinton, a savvy, accomplished, and strong woman as our President over a temperamental, impulsive Narcissist like Donald Trump. Secretary Clinton would benefit greatly from moving a bit more to the left on healthcare, trade, avoiding unnecessary Middle-Eastern conflicts, and reigning in Wall-Street. Doing this will do a lot to bring Bernie’s twelve million supporters in the fold, and fully guarantee a virtual landslide in November against the Donald.

Although Bernie’s campaign is all but over, Berne has pushed the Overton Window to a much needed direction.  Although Secretary Clinton has locked up the nomination, I appreciate Sanders noble fight towards a modern, more inclusive New Deal and truly keeping America on top. In fact, I strongly feel that it would be unrealistic to not move leftwards in order for America to stay on top of its game. But at the end of the day, America needs to move this direction sooner rather than later, or risk falling behind compared the rest of western world. We need to do right by the next generation, despite the fact that it may not immediately easy or expedient. I truly hope that Secretary Clinton absorbs Sanders’ push towards more Progressive, Social-Democratic ideals at the convention.

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Refuting Bernie Naysayers

Credit where credit is due. Robert Reich perfectly refutes Bernie naysayers better than I ever could. Thought this would be appropriate since Super Tuesday is tomorrow. Enjoy!

 

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My Best Posts of 2015

I kinda missed the boat a little bit by not doing this last month or earlier this month. Here are the Top 3 Posts from Shiny Red Button Media from 2015. Better late than never I suppose.

1. A Trump Presidency

Race relations will go down the toilet. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra really means “Make America White Again.” The legacy of white supremacy will be allowed free rein to continue. The white nationalists will get what they want in getting rid of brown and black people that they don’t like.

2. Non Sports Watchers Have No Soul

The more I think about it, “I don’t watch sports” is the new “I don’t watch TV” of the 21st century.

I am inherently mistrustful of people who don’t watch sports.

Look, I’m not saying that people have to worship sweaty men in uniform or live vicariously through them. Watching sports isn’t necessary the pathway towards Basic Broness orBasic Bitchiness. But, in conjunction with constructive hobbies, watching sports can be a great way to unwind and bond with others.

3. Kill Your Darlings

I don’t want to name names, but I have found that I have had to do this in the past year with one of my favorite bloggers. His blog posts and insights about psychology, dynamics in life and popular culture in general, were things that I gained a lot from. He drew out his arguments very fluidly, and wasn’t afraid to break up his synopsis into several parts to fully drive home all that he had to say. He wasn’t afraid to talk about tough and blunt truths on just about any topic.

But as of late, I found that he has started to come off as pretentious, and out of touch. Like as if he’s above the fray of everyone else and their beliefs. The same blogger that instilled in me the ability to see things in nuance in many areas of life and pop culture, judges people relentlessly on Twitter and his recent writings.

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Media Bias Will Always Exist

media bias

All media has bias. There. I said it. And I stand by it. I have a bias. You have a bias. We all do. There are no special snowflakes in this, and don’t think you’re above it.

I don’t honestly think that there are many truly unbiased publications out there. Humans, by enlarge are emotional, animated creatures with a wide range of possible emotions. As a writer, I have a voice and background that is always instinctively coming through my writing. We all do as writers. A writer’s voice signifies a person’s work and makes it truly their own. And with enough writers in a unified publication, you’re eventually always going to have bias.

Despite people’s emotions and predictions shining through the media, there are always ways of holding our biases accountable. Whether it’s reading and watching opposing views, simply being aware of our biases or seeking sources that have a certain level of self-awareness that allows them to temper their bias to a certain degree. There’s so much to be said about the current echo chambers that people surround themselves with. If we’re going to have a certain set of views, let’s make sure they hold up to scrutiny by researching and understanding our opponents before we reach a conclusion.

Sites like NPR, Washington Post (they lean left, but invite conservatives to write for them), Reuters, PBS NewsHour, The Christian Science Monitor (Don’t let the name fool you, they are famous for their lack of bias), seem to fit the bill as websites that are adept at tempering their biases and giving it straight to the best of their abilities.

Run from sites that insist on resorting towards using ad-hominem attacks to attack ideological opponents. Sites that can’t prove their points with facts and logic are not worth their salt.

If you take nothing else out of this, please keep this in mind: Having true knowledge and awareness of our biases is half the battle towards becoming informed and discerning citizens.

And BTW, Happy New Year!!

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On Opposing Views

All too often, it seems to be the case that people are favoring echo-chambers and safe spaces more and more, instead of having their views tested. No matter which ideology you support, surrounding yourself with echo-chambers and safe spaces that only support your views will highly stunt your growth and thinking.

MY SAFE SPACE!!!!!!!

MY SAFE SPACE!!!!!!!

Nowadays, people seem to only surround themselves around people that jerk and validate their existing viewpoints.

The reason this is so problematic is because we shut our minds down from seeking to understand one another. It is as if seeking to understand has become a lost art in this day and age. Instead of trying to understand each other and figure out why one person may perceive specific things a certain way, we shut them down or mute them because they throw us out of our comfort zone. For example, you see this  when people unfollow people they don’t agree with. Or worse than that, they unfollow people that follow individuals who sport views they don’t agree with. Immediately jumping to judgment on a person’s whole persona based on superficial indicators on their social media account.

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I’m not completely immune to doing this. I have done it on occasion to negative people posting things about “Those Damn Liberals,” “Those Damn Illegals,” or folks who are a bit to excited about Donald Trump. But ultimately, I continue to follow and consciously seek out opposing viewpoints from the right to challenge and strengthen my views. I like having airtight knowledge and evidence when articulating my points as opposed to resorting to ad-hominems to shut down voices I don’t agree with. A gaping flaw I see done too often with modern publications. Gawker Media being one of the most notorious offenders of ad-hominem foolery.

Avoiding circlejerks may improve you as a person. Who knew...

Avoiding circlejerks may improve you as a person. Who knew…

At the end of the day, viewpoints and arguments must be shared and exposed to see if they stand up to scrutiny. We may have the best ideas in our heads for why we support certain policies and ideals, but if we just surround ourselves with people who agree with us, one can’t really grow and crystallize their thoughts. There’s a much larger world out there than our individual echo-chambers.

 

 

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Terrorism: The Result is the Same

There’s so much to be said about the recent acts of terrorism that have been going on. Debates are being thrown around from both sides of the political spectrum as how this bodes for the Western World and the perception of Islam. Or whether religions like Islam are fundamentally incompatible with western civilization like some thinkers might persistently beat us over the head with.

Trump

The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter who commits these terrorist atrocities. It’s still a pure cowardice and senselessness all the same. Such acts result in the deprivation of life and harm that these deluded extremists commit to inflicting on innocent victims. No particular religion has a monopoly on terrorism.

The fact of the matter is that terrorism is committed by extremists. Extremists often feel that they are justified in spreading and propagating their message to others through force. Terrorists and tyrants of any faith ultimately need to get the same “just desserts” no matter who they are. And that equates to them being tried in the court of law and (hopefully) executed  if found guilty by the court of law.

Whether it’s domestic or foreign grown terrorism, the outcome should be the exact same.  Perpetrators of any faith or motivation need to be brought to justice. Full stop. We aren’t going to resolve anything by creating boogiemen or stereotyping and over-representing the bad eggs vs the good eggs.

 

 

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A Man Experiences the World Again after 44 Years in Prison

 

Just thought I would post this little video I stumbled across a while back. A lot could be said about a lot of the first world problems we have, like being in a 3G area instead of a LTE coverage spot, or having to choose between the iPhone or the new S6. This guy has been far removed from much of this for many decades and seems to have a child-like wonder over how much society and the world has progressed. He doesn’t seem bitter or weathered over the time he’s lost, he and seems to want to look to the future and enjoy whatever he has left.

I just found this video to be a breath of fresh air.

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It’s All Okay or None of It is

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A Trump Presidency

What if Trump Won?

What exactly would happen if Trump got elected? What if the F**k the establishment candidate actually pulled through?

A few quick thoughts…

aka Make America "White" again.

AKA Make America “White” Again.

Race relations will go down the toilet. Let’s not kid ourselves here. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” mantra really means “Make America White Again.” The legacy of white supremacy will be allowed free rein to continue. The white nationalists will get what they want in getting rid of brown and black people that they don’t like.

build a wall

Hell, he has already been complicit in failing to call out and tolerating ignorance. If Trump can’t even be bothered to tell folks that President Obama isn’t a Muslim, then he sure as hell won’t be bothered to help improve and eradicate discrimination of minorities. He indulges in dog whistle code words instead of fighting them.

If bombastic Trump can even get congress to go with his zany ideas, expect some more useless wars. Expect some pissing matches with Putin that will leave America with a worse global standing. Wars based on armchair analysis of political pundits instead of earnest studying of the world’s geopolitics. So much for being “so good at the military that your head(s) will spin.

There is one tiny silver lining. His tax plan isn’t half bad. Many folks would save a hell of a lot of money from his 1, 5, 10, 15 plan. His plan even checks out according to legitimate sources. But to run a country and fund services, the money needs to come from somewhere. I predict that a lot of people (me included) would benefit for all of one and half years from this huge tax break. Then the economy will soon tank as there ultimately won’t be enough cash flow to keep essential beneficial social programs running.

In short, Trump will perpetuate coded racist and discriminatory policies that will hurt the country a lot in the long run. Don’t let his somewhat sound tax plan fool you. America will pay dearly with him at the helm.