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

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

Monkeys, Demons, and Ten Days on a Cushion

Occidental meditation

(An account of a 10-day vipassana meditation retreat in 2008)

“Just observe,” said the guru’s voice. “Whatever the sensation, just observe.”

I had been seated cross-legged, eyes closed, for what felt like hours and had probably been at least 15 minutes. The pain shooting through my back was excruciating.

“Limit your awareness to the triangular area below the nostrils and above the upper lip.” He had a perfect Indian guru accent and said the word ‘nostrils’ as if it were ‘nose-strils’. It made me smile. My ‘nose-streels.’ I desperately wanted to know if anyone else was smiling, and so for the first time in what had to have been at least 18 minutes now, I opened my eyes.

There we were, 200 or so of us, seated silently on the floor of a vast, wood-walled, slightly drafty hall that was vaulted like a church, but if there was a Jesus up there above the raised dais on which sat the solemn ‘assistant teachers,’ He had been carefully and discreetly covered by white cloth sheets.

Down here on the floor, we meditators were seated in precise rows, as if on a chessboard. I was in spot F-9. The guy on my right, F-8, was starting to slouch forward, forward, to stretch his back. The guy right in front of me, E-9, was unmoving, a solid rock of a meditator. I was surrounded by men. On the other side of the ‘A’ row was an aisle, and the women were seated on the other side of the aisle. Indeed, throughout the entire ten days, the men and women were strictly segregated and we never saw each other. I discreetly glanced around me; many men were silently shifting positions in discomfort.

There were no smiles. (more…)

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Posted in Inner Life
by Tony Brasunas at 11:16 am on February 16, 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

Giveaway: Double Happiness Nearly Free New Year’s Week

A Journey across China and through the Soul of a Young American

Double Happiness: “A journey across China and through the soul of a young American”

This week, entering the new year, and through January 15, as a celebration of human potential and possibility, and as a gift to you or to a friend, the book is (nearly) free.

There is a nominal shipping cost for the paperback and a special $.99 price for the e-book.

(While supplies last).

How to Get Double Happiness

Simply click this link to get the book:

>> Get Double Happiness <<

(Formats available: e-book, audiobook, and paperback.)

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Posted in Double Happiness
by Tony Brasunas at 11:27 am on January 5, 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