Vote To Save Our Democracy

It’s no secret that our democracy is under attack by Big Money. The 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which declared money is speech and corporations are people, alerted many Americans to just how critical the situation is. And, it’s only gotten a good deal worse since then.

With one party controlling the White House and Congress, our system of checks and balances has broken down. Whether it’s the appointment of federal judges, the protection of our environment, or issues of trade and tariffs, what the President and his party want becomes law. For all intent and purposes, bipartisan policymaking is dead.

Moreover, our country is more divided than since at least before World War II. For the most part, each side believes the other side is evil. At the same time, however, a clear majority of Americans agree on quite a bit. For example:

  • 97% support universal background checks for gun purchases (Quinnipiac University National Poll, February, 2018)
  • 77% want comprehensive immigration reform (Harvard-Harris Poll, January, 2018)
  • 65 % favor alternative energy development over expanding fossil fuel resources (Pew Research Center, January 2017)
  • 62% believe the federal government should ensure healthcare for all              (Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, July, 2017)

And, more than three-quarters of Americans, 78% according to an Issue One-Ipsos National Poll (July, 2016), desire new laws to reduce the influence of money in politics.

None of these very popular policies have any chance of becoming law under the current administration. Clearly, our government does not represent the will of the great majority of the American people. While there are many reasons for this, the power of Big Money to unduly influence politicians and government policy to favor corporate America and special interests is the single most important factor. And, it’s been this way for a very long time.

Unfortunately, Washington politicians are not about to fix our corrupt political system. Other articles in this newsletter indicate what New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics (NMMOP) is doing to correct this abuse of power, which is destroying our democracy. But we can’t do it alone. Here are three things you can do to help:

First, join NMMOP (Go to nmmop.org) in our work to eliminate the corruption of our government by Big Money;

Second, vote for candidates who will also fight to overcome this Big Money plague on our country: and

Third, send this blog to your friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to get involved. It’s going to take a mass movement to end this corruption and build a vibrant democracy of, by and for the people.

I hope to see you at the polls on Election Day and at our next general meeting on Saturday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m., at LaFarge Library, 1730 Llano Street in Santa Fe.

Bruce Berlin, President, New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics

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I’m back!

Hi! I’m back. I’m sorry that I’ve neglected my blog for the last 5 months or so. I was busy finishing, editing and preparing to publish my book, Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America: Working Together To Revive Our Democracy.

I’m happy to report that the book is going to the printer this week. The ebook should be on sale in the next few weeks and the paperback should be available the first or second week in December. At the same time, I’ve gotten my website, breakingbigmoneysgrip.com, up and running, though it still needs some finishing touches. Hopefully, they will all be done in the next couple of weeks as well.

So, why did I write Breaking Big Moneys Grip on America?

I wrote this book to focus attention on a very critical issue that Americans need to understand: the United States is on the brink of becoming a plutocracy run by and for the very rich. Our political system is broken, and we must fix it before we lose our representative democracy. Both as a nation and as individual Americans, we are in grave danger due to Big Money’s increasing control of our government. Here are just two examples of how Big Money’s control over our government has caused tremendous harm to our nation as well as to a great many Americans.

The Iraq War

When George W. Bush became president in 2001 the giant oil corporations led by oilman-turned-vice president Dick Cheney manipulated the country into believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that posed an international security threat. While Ambassador Joe Wilson tried to alert us to the truth, Cheney’s Chief of Staff “Scooter” Libby lied and was later found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. Big oil’s extreme influence over our government resulted in the United States initiating the Iraq War to gain access to Iraq’s huge oil and gas reserves. In doing big oil’s bidding, our country spent close to $2 trillion of our tax dollars; sacrificed thousands of American lives as well as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian lives; and effectively bred more support for militant extremists.

The Great Recession of 2008

During the Great Recession of 2008, while our government bailed out the big banks that had been primarily responsible for the economic crash, it did not aid the millions of Americans who had lost their homes or jobs. Despite the fraudulent and unethical business practices that had caused such devastating hardship, the Obama administration never prosecuted any of the Wall Street executives who had been largely responsible for it. Since Democrats and Republicans alike receive huge campaign contributions from Wall Street, no one in Washington wanted to risk damaging those relations. Now Wall Street is aggressively lobbying for less government regulation with some success, which may well lead to another financial disaster.

A current example of Big Money’s control of our government which will also cause great harm to a majority of Americans is the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. I will address that in my next blog, which will appear in the next couple of days. I will be blogging regularly from now on, at least 2-3x per week. So, stay tuned and pass the word on to your friends and others. More information about my book can be found at breakingbigmoneysgrip.com. Thanks! And hope you’ll join in the conversation.

STOP the TPP – The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement — and other secret deals

It turns out that the TPP is not the only secret trade agreement the Obama administration is pushing. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, which would be the largest “free trade” deal in world history, is now being negotiated between the U.S. and E.U.

Obama seems to think that corporations and not democratically elected governments should control our economic future.  The TTIP contains an “investor-state dispute settlement” system (ISDS), which would provide a framework for corporations to sue governments over alleged lost profits and overrule national laws, courts, and democratic processes. Such corporate tribunals have become hallmarks of so-called “free trade” agreements, included in 3,000 such deals world-wide, such as the infamous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  These tribunals are an attempt to escape the jurisdiction of national courts and bypass the obligation of all states to ensure that all legal cases are tried before independent, public tribunals.

President Obama is currently pressing for passage of “Fast Track” legislation for the TPP and other trade deals that would allow the White House to ram through these secret deals currently under negotiation.  This certainly looks like another example of Obama’s close ties with Wall Street and Big Money winning out over the American people.  We, the people, need to get money out of politics so Obama and Congress stop working for their corporate sponsors and start working for the people and what’s in our best interests.

Labor, environmental, community, and human rights organizations around the world have mobilized for years against these and other such pacts, with organized opposition to the TTIP mounting on both sides of the Atlantic.  We need to stand up and make our voices heard.

A New Beginning

April 4, 2015

Hi! And welcome to my new blog.  It’s spring and time for new beginnings on all levels — as individuals, in our communities, our country and the planet.  I feel most of us have been holding back in one way or another. Things are pretty uncertain in our world.  So, we have good reason to be a bit hesitant.

But, even if you feel you haven’t, that you’re on track and moving forward, you know and I know that there is always more that we could do.  Whether it’s with your inner work, family, community or the wider world, there is so much more to do.  No matter what direction I look, I hear and see people crying out for help.

Some of us turn away.  We can’t deal with it.  It’s too much.  But if not us, who?  That’s not to say we should be martyrs and sacrifice everything. We each must find our inner balance that allows us the maximum output.  So we are living at our highest frequency, and giving our lives and the planet our best shot.

I just want to suggest that we each go within, get in touch with our highest frequency and take a step or two or three up closer to that frequency.  If not now, when?

I’m just completing writing my first book, Breaking Big Money’s Grip: The Critical Struggle To Revive Democracy in America. (It should be available online in the next couple months or so.)  In it I submit that mass movements are what creates real change in our country, from the abolitionists that helped end slavery to women’s suffrage that resulted in the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote.  And, then there’s labor, Civil Rights, Feminist, anti-Vietnam War, the Environment, Gay and Lesbian Rights and so on.  When enough of us rise up, we can buck the power of the status quo and change the world.  It’s always an up hill battle.  But, the struggle is worth it.  And, in all those causes, people were called.  They knew in their hearts what was the right thing to do and they did it.

I feel it’s time for a new people’s movement — the Democracy Movement.  It’s the right thing to do.  We, the people, are losing our right to self-government.  Big Money and Corporate America have taken over.  For the most part, they control our state and federal governments.  And, while we can look the other way and say it’s too big to deal with.  “What can I do?”  The truth is it’s up to us to stand up as a people, right, left or center; Democrat, Republican or Independent; activist or apolitical; religious, spiritual or atheist; and take back our country from the super wealthy, the big banks and the coporate elite.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!

What do you think?