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Where realism and idealism meet Tony Brasunas, author of Double Happiness

A 2018 Voting Guide for Thoughtful and Progressive Californians

Focused on the Bay Area

It’s that magical time of the year when the air gets chilly and we’re formally asked our opinion about our government. If you’re living in California — in the Bay Area in particular — I offer up my take on this election’s races below. Further down, below my recommendations, I offer some thoughts on the degraded state of our politics and media.

If you strongly support one of the two corporate political parties and also primarily follow the corresponding news media (New York Times, NPR, MSNBC for Democrats; FOX News, Wall Street Journal, talk radio for Republicans), you might find my writings and endorsements surprising or disappointing, as I increasingly see both parties and both sets of news organizations as corrupt, militaristic, and authoritarian (and occasionally helpful).

Or perhaps that will make my take on things particularly interesting to you.

One other thing: There’s no way to know whether your vote will count. Sorry! I desperately wish it were otherwise. But both major political parties have ensured this continues to be the case, and worsens, while blaming each other for it. I’ve researched this extensively and this is the biggest problem we face right now as a society as it prevents us from addressing nearly every other issue. I write more about this problematic state of affairs at the end of this piece. Please inform yourself about the dysfunctional state of our elections and vote counting, and the ways that its covered up.

Still, VOTE! Voting remains essential. More on that too in my full full voting guide for this election.

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Posted in Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 7:24 pm on November 4, 2018

I Actually See Both Sides of this Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Circus

Certainly it’s akin to political heresy, but I see both sides of this Supreme Court confirmation hearings brouhaha. If you’re horrified by this statement, you’re probably one of the approximately 43% of the country who remain emotionally invested in one of the mainstream political parties.

Brett Kavanaugh appears to be an aggressive man, a serial liar, an aloof product of privilege, and altogether far too conservative — nay reactionary — in his legal decisions to be a judge in this country, let alone to join the Supreme Court. His opinions on surveillance and torture, to name just two, are far out of step with what most Americans want and believe. Whether at the heart of your political sensibility you more highly value liberty or progress, you should see that this man has no business making final decisions about the laws of this land.

As for sexual assault, there is way way more unreported sexual violence in this country than there are false accusations. (more…)

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Posted in Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 4:39 pm on October 5, 2018

If You’re Voting in this June 5 California Primary

Like christmas trees in windows and jack o’lanterns on front porches, your mailbox swelling with political mail signifies the arrival of a particular season of the year: election season. If you’re living in California, this bizarrely inspiring time is here once again.

I’ve written very little politically since the (unfortunate) political turns of 2016 and the (fortunate) arrival of my son, so take these voting recommendations with a grain of salt and a sprinkle of curiosity. In fact, I don’t have a particularly cheerful outlook on our political situation right now, and, worse, the reasons to believe that your vote will be counted fairly are decreasing, but I’ll discuss that at the end of this piece.

First, I do recommend you vote, and to see how I’ll be voting in Tuesday’s June Primary, please view my full guide here.

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 12:54 pm on June 3, 2018

The DNC is Attempting to Kill Off Another Progressive Movement

Establishment candidate Tom Perez chosen to lead the DNC

Today the Democratic National Committee defeated, once again, even the possibility of the semblance of progressive leadership in the party.

Rather than let Keith Ellison win, the DNC chose Tom Perez, a man who entered the race recently at the behest of establishment leadership, to fill the corrupt shoes of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile.

It’s an awful move, but unfortunately at this point it’s hardly surprising.

This selection basically says to voters and rank-and-file Democrats that yes, the party will give you more of the same, more status quo Wall Street-driven decisions, more superdelegates choosing nominees before races even begin, more tone-deaf weak corporate politics at the top, and more losses and more excuses for the next four years.

The way this all went down — so similar to what I saw in Philadelphia last year at the convention — shows that the DNC is more determined to defeat progressives than to defeat Republicans. Think about that. (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 12:22 pm on February 27, 2017

Bold Vision of a Bernie Sanders-Led People’s Party Launched by New Group

Could Bernie Sanders lead a new political party?

A group of former staff and delegates from Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign have joined with hundreds of others this week to launch a campaign called “Draft Bernie For A People’s Party.”

The goal is to convince Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that the Democratic Party is corrupt beyond redemption, and that the creation of a powerful new party is not only possible but one of the best things that could happen for the country and planet right now.

The launch of “Draft Bernie For A People’s Party” is led by Nicholas Brana, former national political outreach coordinator for Bernie 2016.

“People are yearning for something positive and honorable that they can build as their future,” says Brana, adding that the new party intends to capitalize on the desire for progressive change that the Sanders campaign so prodigiously tapped into. “While Trump is busy dividing us, Bernie can continue to do what he did during the campaign—unite us — only this time outside the corporate, neoliberal constraints of the Democratic Party.”

A new People’s Party, with Sanders at the helm, would launch with at least half of the Democratic Party (more…)

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Posted in Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 11:39 am on February 11, 2017

Are You Living in the Matrix?

How do you know if you are accurately perceiving news about the world?

How do you know if you are accurately perceiving news about the world?

A quick test to understand your viewpoint in today’s bizarre political media landscape.

It was a political year in which up was often down, and right masqueraded frequently as left. The year 2016 then wrapped up with a steady stream of diametrically opposed media stories all clamoring for recognition as “the truth.”

The mainstream media featured incessant talk of “fake news,” and pundits propounded conspiracy theories about Russians hacking email servers. The independent media continued to analyze piles of evidence showing collusion on the part of the mainstream media and the two political parties who ran the worst presidential campaign in modern American politics.

With all this news and theory swirling around, some of which must be false, it has become difficult to know at any one time whether you’re reading the news correctly, whether you’re seeing the role of the media itself clearly, or whether there’s a Matrix-like veil obscuring your comprehension of national events.

Here’s a quick test to determine whether

(more…)

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Posted in In the Media | Peaceful Revolution | Politics
by Tony Brasunas at 5:50 pm on January 4, 2017